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Democratic National Convention

Series/Special. (2012) The 2012 Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
05:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

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Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1234

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 79, America 77, Michelle Obama 39, Obama 39, Ted Kennedy 31, Barack Obama 31, Massachusetts 27, Romney 25, United States 23, Michelle 19, Jimmy Carter 14, Vicki Kennedy 12, Mitt Romney 12, Washington 11, Charlotte 11, Kennedy 11, Chicago 11, North Carolina 10, Afghanistan 10, Rahm Emanuel 10,
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  CNN    Democratic National Convention    Series/Special.  (2012) The 2012 Democratic  
   National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 4, 2012
    7:00 - 12:00am EDT  

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>> reporter: this chair has legs. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> and cnn's coverage of the democratic national convention continues right now. the president is a servant of today. but his true constituency is the future. >> america is a future that each generation must enlarge. >> because this election is not about ideology. it's about confidence. >> i still believe in a place called hope. >> and i stand here tonight as my own man. and i want you to know me for who i truly am. >> i'm john kerry, and i'm reporting for duty! >> america, we cannot turn back. not with so much work to be done. >> this is cnn.
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>> president obama is a tough leader who gets results for the american public. >> the democrats are kicking off their big party here in charlotte, three days aimed at winning four more years in the white house. >> president barack obama better than anyone, his wife. in the heart of the new south, the presidential race refs up. this is where democrats are cheering on the president, and his quest to serve a second term. >> four more years! >> this is where barack obama will try to recapture the magic of a victory that builds hopes and broke barriers. >> if you'll stand with me, like you did in 2008, we will win this election!
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>> in charlotte tonight, democrats make their case. face their challenge. and defend the white house record under attack. >> he is intellectually exhausted. >> he has been president for three years and talk is cheap. >> governor romney wants to rebeal obama care. >> this commander in chief must drive home his successes, overcome his setbacks and rally his base with a campaign partner who is spirited and unscripted. >> i got a little bumper sticker for you. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive! >> now, cnn turns the spotlight on one of the biggest platforms in american politics. in a crucial election battleground. >> i promise you, north carolina. we will emerge stronger than we were before. >> welcome to the democratic
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national convention. it's your vote, your future, your country. your choice. we would like to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world to this, the democratic national convention, as charlotte, north carolina. i'm on the convention floor, i'm wolf blitzer. the first lady of the united states, michelle obama, has tonight's most critical job, reminding voters why they liked her husband enough to put him in the white house, and to make the case for giving him another four years. joining us now in our coverage all of this week, anderson cooper, high above the floor. >> our new poll shows why that case is more urgent than ever
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for the democrat. new numbers on mitt romney's convention bounds. john, what are the numbers? >> anderson, as the democrats open their convention tonight, let's look at that very question. we know governor romney got a one-point bounce out of his convention, not so great, about half what the president got four years ago. not a big bounce. where does that leave us? the democrats' opening night two months from a critical election day. doesn't get any closer than that. 48-48. >> the convention will pay tribute to a champion of health care reform, the late senator edward kennedy, and the woman who stood by his side, vicki kennedy. >> meanwhile, the floor plan is completely different from the republican convention in tampa. since the democrats have twice as many delegates, they not only cover the arena floor, most of them are actually up in the stands. as our cnn correspondent, brianna keilar, john burrman and kate bolduan are, as well. and stationed to where michelle obama will be speaking is our
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own candy crowley. candy, what are your sources telling you about what the first lady will say? >> reporter: they are telling me there is no one better than michelle obama to give the personal side of this presidency, but link it to policy. how does the president make decisions? she will make the case that he makes decisions with the quotes in mind, the middle class. you will hear the words "middle class" a lot during this convention. she will make the case he always has the people in mind when he makes those decisions. even when the decisions he makes are politically unpopular. wolf? >> thanks, candy. a top priority for the democrats this week is getting specific, very specific, about what president obama wants to accomplish in a second term, and hohe would go about doing that. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is here with me for our coverage. you had an amazing documentary, "obama revealed" that aired last night, i would recommend it highly to our viewers. they'll have more chances to see it on cnn. give us insight on what the
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president is planning on doing. >> some of his various proposals he has been careful about laying out. but one of the things i asked him about was the fact that four years ago, he promised very clearly to bridge what he called red and blue america. but in office, he has been unable to bridge these partisan divides. one of the questions i put to him was, given the bitterness in washington after the breakdown of the debt deal he negotiated with speaker boehner, does he think that he and speaker boehner could work together again if both of them are re-elected, will democrats and republicans be able to work together if he is the president for a second term? and here's what he said. >> given your history together, why should the american people have faith that you and speaker boehner can work together in the future? >> look, there are very real differences between democrats and republicans right now. on how to solve some of these problems. and what i want to do is to work
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with my republican colleagues where we can, and we did that on cutting the payroll tax, on helping veterans get hired by small businesses. there have been a whole range of issues where we were able to work together. where we can't work together, because they won't compromise, then i'll work around them. like we did with helping millions of homeowners refinance their homes. or helping to make sure that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own and the so-called dream kids are able to get out from under the cloud of deportation. so where i can work with them, i will. where they don't want to compromise, i'll work around them. but my utmost priority is always going to be to make sure that we're moving the ball forward for the american people. >> great interview. we're going to have much more of your interview with the president of the united states throughout the course of this evening and throughout the course of this week. don't go too far away.
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you can't, you're strapped into this chair, just like i am. let's go back up to anderson. >> thanks, i'm here with cnn chief national correspondent, john king and gloria borger. cnn contributors, donna brazil, alex castellano and david gergen. david, what are you most looking forward to, what do you think is most important? >> i think we're looking at partly whether mayor castro will give this sort of blow off the roof kind of speech if he does become a latino barack obama. >> julian castro. >> young guy, very hot. >> 37. >> but the bigger question is michelle obama. i think she can bring the convention alive and bring the enthusiasm back in her party. what they're looking for in this convention, can they do a breakout? we saw from john king that romney did well in the convention and didn't get a breakout. but if they can come into this convention four or five points ahead, get a breakout and then hold it, they could lock in this election. >> alex, do you see michelle
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obama speaking the same way ann romney did, trying to put a human face, personal face, side of her husband? >> i think it's remarkable how much both parties this year are looking at the wives of the candidate to carry the ball over the finish line. >> why is that remarkable? >> this -- >> well, maybe if you've seen the candidates on both sides, it's not. but this is world war i. these campaigns have been stuck in the trenches. an inch is almost a mile. it's almost impossible to move this election, unless you can put a human face on it, both sides are like us. and that's what both sides are looking forward to from these speeches and i think you have to see in michelle obama tonight. >> donna? >> president obama refers to her as the closer, the one who knows how to close the deal, that cannot only explain who he is as a husband and a father, but a leader, as well. so i think michelle obama tonight will tell the story, tell the story of just what they have been able to accomplish. when i say "they," president obama and vice president biden.
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of course, she has been a strong advocate for military families. she is going to talk about her role in the white house, her role in helping to lift up children across america. >> she is going to be introduced by a woman, four of whose children are in the service. >> absolutely. she is a remarkable woman. as you know, she is wildly popular, and i think tonight michelle obama will give us a glimpse into that family portrait, much like mrs. romney did last week. >> and she has a special link to the future. their kids. you know, this is one of the things most attractive about the obama family, is they're great parents. if she can make that bridge -- obama has been focusing backwards. don't go back to george bush. that's all romney is. if she can open the window to the future that's important not only for her kids but for everybody's kids that could be important tonight. >> is it possible today, can be overshadowed about the controversy every democratic platfo platform, not having the word "god" in there, although they have mentioned the word "faith"
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several times and jerusalem. >> the republicans and mitt romney making use of the israel plank. i think when you'll see when you're complaining in southern ohio, why did the democrats take god out of the speech? the jewish community, can you go to the jews who have moved to florida? in terms of this -- that become an issue as we go state by state. this is a nuts and bolt, state by state, county by county election. but i want to make it -- alex's point about can michelle obama humanize -- could ann romney humanize? it tells you people are so disen chanted with politics. they don't trust the politicians. and guess what barack obama is one of them now. four years ago, he was different, he was going to change washington. he was not like them. he said i'm not going to play by the old washington rules. four years later, it's not all his fall, he's a washington politician and that's a weakness. >> why do these men always need humanizing in an interesting way? because they're both aloof men
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in different ways. i mean, mitt romney's friends say privately he's really warm and great. but when he gets on the stage, he can't connect with his audience. and president obama has the opposite issue, which is that one-on-one, he might be aloof. but when he's in front of an audience, he really connects. so these women have to sort of open the window and say here's who he is. look in. and i'll tell you how he makes decisions and that he won't fail which is what ann said. >> a lot to talk about in the night ahead and hours ahead. and some important guests going to be watching tonight from the vip box. in a minute, you'll find out which big-name democrats are here tonight. and very soon now, the delegates will watch the video tribute to the late senator edward kennedy. we'll be talking exclusively with his widow, vicki kennedy, ahead. ♪
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you're looking at the bank of america stadium here in charlotte. this is, weather permitting, where the president of the united states will give his acceptance speech thursday night. folks will be crammed in there. all the tickets given away. i'm here on the convention floor right now, the time warner cable arena, opposite the speakers, but we have stationed our correspondents in key areas throughout the convention. kate bolduan is down in one area, among the best seats in the house. kate, where are you? >> reporter: well, i am center, front row, right here in the middle of it all. just take a look how close we are to the little dark in here with watching a video clip so you might not be able to -- when it comes to the plum seating at
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this convention, it's all down to relationships and battle grounds. i'm here with my friends vera and toni. thank you, ladies, enjoy the show. we're in the illinois delegation, the home of president barack obama. no surprise they've got plum seating at this convention. next door, delaware, home state of vice president joe biden. as we move backwards, you can just see how close, they're so close to the podium and all of the action. but as we continue this way, this is the south carolina section, not only the state where this convention is being held, but also the key battle ground state as president obama won narrowly in 2008, a state that cnn has a toss-up this time around. critical, critical state. also other battle grounds. ohio, hawaii, where president obama was born and grew up. and pennsylvania, another key battleground state, wolf. so you can see, relationships, relationships, relationships and battlegrounds. that's what will get you a good seat in this convention.
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>> certainly will, kate. great seats. john burrman, unfortunately, you're among the worst seats in the house. tell our viewers where you are. >> reporter: i am up here in alabama, wolf, which is about as far away as you can get from the stage. nancy pelosi looks like a wee little dot. why so far away from alabama? president obama lost alabama by 20 points, no democrat has won since 1976. virtually a zero percent changes chance of winning this time. sorry, guys. but having no chance is not the only way to get bad seats at a convention. check this out. right over here, a short walk, is new york. new york. barack obama won new york by more than 25 points four years ago. so being a sure thing or having no chance, that's how you get this far away from the stage to see nancy pelosi as a tiny little dot. wolf? >> yeah, i can see that already, john, thanks very much.
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brianna keilar watching what's going on in the vip section. brianna, who can you see over there? >> reporter: hi there, wolf. actually, this one you can't see anyone. but if you look at the vip suite behind me, this is where you're going to see a lot of big democratic big wigs, invitees of the obama campaign, not bad seats, back a ways, but elevated with a nice view. and take a look over here, as you heard kate say, it's definitely the truth. it pays to be a delegate from a battleground state right here on the floor to the left of the stage, you have virginia and the colorado delegations, as well as north carolina over there to the right. it really pays to be a battleground state where president obama is desperate for votes, wolf. >> all right, brianna, thank you. let's go back up to anderson. >> we're going to go over there shortly, but first, i want to talk to donna brazil a bit. this controversy over what's in
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the platform. how big a deal do you think it is? >> well, you know, john, we spent months talking to democratic leaders all over the country. we used the 2008 platform as a template. clearly, there was some negotiation and some back and forth, some controversial issues. i don't think the controversial issues are going to matter this much in an election. it is a statement of our values and our principles and i think over all the american people will agree. >> alex, you have a different opinion. >> it mattered last week. even though the platform is the place you hide the things you don't want the candidate to have to deal with. but there was something in one of the videos on the floor not long ago, a line which said, "the only thing we all have in common is government." that is a very unique line, and i think a line far from the mainstream of most american thought. you couple that with "you didn't build that," the democrats are going to have to defend some values coming out of this. >> you think we're going to hear more from the platform about the
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republicans. >> the platform and their values. >> i wouldn't be surprised. because republicans don't want to talk about policy-specifics. we the people, that is the government of the united states. that is what that -- >> no, no. >> we'll talk about more of this ahead. but first right now, john king has a very special guest, democratic governor, brian schweitzer. >> one of the more colorful figures. when you look at this map now, we know it's different from 2008. the president still favored. he has an easier -- i won't say an easy, but an easier path to 270. i just changed the state there, i'm not sure what i touched to do it, but that was pretty good. i want to start with this part of the country in the heartland. you know what happened last time in the governor's race. the governors won, took back iowa, ohio, michigan. can the president -- can he count on these states this time, if romney wins this one? is he the next president? >> well, he's got to win this one. if that one is not red, then he can't win. let's just go through this. let's talk about colorado. >> the west. these states -- >> i know them.
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colorado, i'm the only governor in america that went to colorado state university. i know this state. this state is the most urban state in america. people don't understand that. there's a higher percentage of people in colorado that live in cities than any other state in the union. nevada. i'm going to give that -- i'm just going to give that to the republicans. i'm going to give that one away. i don't think we're going to lose that one. but there's so many people who have their houses upside down, might be mad enough to say throw the rascals out. so we're going to leave colorado blue. now, let's go on over here. how about if we just give florida -- we'll just give that one to romney, as well. >> you put romney in the lead now. >> fine, we'll do that. michigan -- >> that's wisconsin. >> wisconsin is absolutely going to go blue. iowa is absolutely going to go whether or n blue. >> you're certain about that. >> very confident. >> that one, new york, how did we change that? that has to go back to blue. >> that's what you did before. that's new hampshire, blue. >> you just defected vermont, we'll put it back to blue.
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now you're right in striking distance from where we are in north carolina and state of virginia, two states the president changed last time. not a lot of democrats confident about this state we're in tonight. >> me either. >> so there you go. so you're saying the state of virginia is going to decide this. >> the state of virginia is going to decide that or the big kahu kahuna. i don't think romney is going to win in ohio. not after he said that we ought to just let the auto industry go broke. that is a heck of a lot of jobs. >> it will be the new state slogan in ohio, the big kahuna. i'm going to pull a graphic out of your home state. i want to come out here, ask you why this happened. you were head of the democratic governors at one point. this was during the obama presidency, when he came to office, 56 senate seats, now 51. when he came to office, 257 seats in the house, now 190. 29 governorships, now 20. 700 seats-plus. lost in state legislatures. is that president obama's fault? >> the party in power in the white house is likely to lose around the country.
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that's just the nature of the game. look what happened with george bush. actually, i can thank george bush. i was elected governor along with george bush in montana. >> so this here, do you think in this election -- the president -- you think he's going to win. is it going to be so close we'll have coat tails? >> no coat tails. in a state like montana, president obama is not going to help any kaenlt in montana. if you have a congressional candidate in montana and you're a democrat, it's going to hurt you. but if you're running for governor in montana, you can be completely separate from those skunks in washington, d.c. you don't have to pay any attention at all. everybody knows a democrat in montana has nothing in common -- >> you used the term skunks, governor. let me close on that point. i was talking about how senator obama, the candidate, said things would be different. he was aspirational, transformation transformational, president of the united states so i don't say this with any disrespect. but as part of his issues now, he's an incumbent president. is he one of the skunks in washington, d.c.? >> if you look at the polling of congress, they poll a little lower than the belly of the
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snake right now. and but president obama is closer to 50%. so the american people know who is responsible for this gridlock. it is congress. and the u.s. senate, with mitch mcconnell on day one saying i am not going to cooperate. we're going to start the re-election on day one, we're just going to be the party of no. i think we know where to turn. >> governor, appreciate your time, as always. anderson, you get a sense, a very colorful guy, ohio going to have to rename it now the big kahuna. >> we'll see what ohio has to say about that. we'll have a lot more from john and the magic ball throughout the night tonight. come up, we'll hear from former president jimmy carter and a special tribute to former senator ted keen kennedy. we'll be right back. ♪
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we're back at the democratic national convention here in charlotte. you're looking at a picture. that's the vice president, joe biden and his wife jill biden up in his personal sky box over there and vicki kennedy is sitting next to the vice president of the united states. they're about to do a major, major tribute to ted kennedy. ted kennedy, the legacy. we're going to have that video tribute for ted kennedy and later on be speaking exclusively with vicki kennedy. she is going to be joining me here on the convention floor. we see the governor of massachusetts, deval patrick in the sky box, as well. the vice president is here and his wife, obviously, the vice president will be speaking thursday night. just before the president of the united states gives his acceptance speech at the bank of america stadium here in charlotte. so the excitement is building. we're getting ready for the jimmy carter tribute, as well. we're going to have that. but let me go back up to anderson in the cnn sky box. >> there's obviously -- donna brazil, does it interest you or
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surprise you that democrats seem to be embracing former president jimmy carter, whereas on the campaign trail, we're hearing from republicans trying to link president barack obama to jimmy carter. >> the republicans like to look back and for them 1980 was a very important year, the year they elected the country, elected ronald reagan as president. but for democrats, we respects the 39th president of the united states. he after all, got a very important treaty signed, the panama canal treaty, people forget he was a leader on the international scene. he had a rough economy. he had a primary battle with ted kennedy. he did not win. in fact, it was a landslide. i remember that election very well. we salute jimmy carter, won a nobel prize for his work. his post election work. and he is i a remarkable man and great leader. >> and a darn fine carpenter. >> absolutely. >> alex, you've been smiling like a cheshire cat. is this -- for republicans,
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though, is this perfect, that the democrats are embracing jimmy carter? >> i think republicans would love to hear from jimmy carter again, perhaps in prime time. he is a symbol of failure, of failed presidency, and you'll see that on the campaign trail. but the interesting president is still bill clinton. he's the one that has something to bring to this convention. bill clinton said the era of big government is over. this president said the era of big government being over is over. but now he's going back to clinton and bringing him back again to try to get him over the finish line. that's quite a bit of jujit sue. >> who is president obama more like, bill clinton or carter? >> he wants to be much more like bill clinton. clinton is in style, in vogue right now. and they're going to showcase him. i think this is more of a courtesy. notice they're putting it very early in the evening. ryan -- paul ryan has been making jimmy carter a spapel of his speeches, going after him. barack obama is all jimmy carter all over again. jimmy carter was in effect voted
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out of office. but he was not a beloved president but he is a beloved saint. and i think a lot of people in this country respect him for what he has done. >> and for what he has done after -- >> he is more cut out for saint hood. >> well, he might be a saint but bill clinton is more popular and he's not. so bill clinton's popularity is 66% right now. jimmy carter, i was looking at it, more popular than i thought. 54% favorable rating. but clinton is the star here. >> let's listen, they're about to play this tribute video. let's watch. >> i said then that america needed a president who shares your dreams, and takes a strength and wisdom from you, the american people. ladies and gentlemen, both now and for the next four years, we have just such a leader in the white house. something you realize quickly in the oval office is that the easy decisions are not the ones that make their way to your desk. whether the issues are war and peace or grave economic matters,
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be they popular or unpopular, only a president can make those most difficult choices. in those moments, it takes more than a grasp of policy. it takes integrity and an an understanding of why and whom you serve. from president obama's first day in office, i watched him as i know you have. face these tough decisions and always put the interest of middle-class americans above those who, often with larger wallets, have an ever-louder voice. i've admired him for that. because president obama sits behind that desk, everyday people, from plains, georgia to pittsburgh, have someone who is on their side. thinking about them, working to give them an equal chance in life. in just four short years, he has worked to avert economic calamity, brought a dignified end to the ill conceived war in iraq and signed into law historic health care reform. a dream that was already decades overdue when i called for it at
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this convention 36 years ago. and he has done it all in the face of bitter, unyielding and in fact unprecedented partisan opposition. overseas, president obama has restored the reputation of the united states within the world community. dialogue and collaboration are once again possible with the return of a spirit of trust and goodwill to our foreign policy. of course, there remains much to do. in communities across america and in countries around the world, life is too hard for too many people. we see their struggles and our hearts go out to them. and in the coming years, our hands must continue to reach out to them. yet for all that remains to be done, at home and abroad, the evidence is overwhelming. president obama is a leader for america, as we have placed the onslaught of some of the most complicated, domestic and international challenges to confront any u.s. president in
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modern times. it's up to all of us to make sure that the american people understand exactly what is at stake, and at risk, in this election. with president obama in oval office, we can make good progress toward becoming a fairer, stronger, more prosperous and inclusive america. a nation adjusted to changing and challenging times, while holding true to unchanging principles. a leader among the community of nations. next month, god willing, i will enter the 88th year of my life. and one month later, rosa and i will entered a voting booth and cast another vote for barack obama and joe biden. we will do so with the confidence and conviction that they understand the challenges and difficult choices that face our nation and our people. in fact, all peoples of the world in the years ahead of the one thing i have learned over my lifetime as a submarine officer, as president, and as leader, the
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biggest challenges and problems we face don't limit themselves to quick fixes or to the snappy rhetoric of a television commercial. solutions are complex and difficult, requiring the judgment, skill and patience to pursue the right policies for the right reasons. there's a clear choice facing voters this november. and i am confident that when the facts and policies have been examined, when the record and performance versus been reviewed, barack obama and joe biden will once again be elected to lead our beloved country to a better future. thank you. >> the 39th president of the united states speaking to this democratic national convention via videotape. let's go up to the podium, candy crowley standing by. what do you think, candy? >> reporter: i think that democrats and indeed the country has had an up and down
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relationship with this former president. he left office with the 36% approval rating. but really, so many people have said this is a much better ex president than he was a president. he built himself quite a reputation as a humanitarian, someone who traveled the world tirelessly in pursuit of peace. it's interesting to me that four years ago, at the first convention for president obama, then candidate obama, jimmy carter did not have a speaking part. and the word then was that they really felt that his -- what were then controversial views about israel might not -- it wouldn't be great to be associated with them. now jimmy carter said he didn't really want to have a speaking part. nonetheless, it came up really interesting in light of what's gone on with that platform, wolf. >> candy, thanks very much. even the president is going to have a tough time juggling work and family. president barack obama opens up about living his life in the bubble with two daughters.
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his exclusive interview with our own jessica yellin. much more of that coming up. also, we're stanning by right now for a video tribute to an icon within the democratic party, the late senator edward kennedy. we'll also be talking exclusively with the senator's widow, vicki kennedy. stay with us. ♪
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. live from charlotte, north carolina. you're looking at the box with vice president biden. also the -- and his wife. and the widow of former -- of senator ted kennedy, vicki kennedy, an exclusive guest of wolf blitzer's coming up
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shortly. we're a minute or so away from a tribute in the hall to senator kennedy which we'll bring live. gloria borger, you knew senator kennedy well, interviewed him over the years. >> right. >> his support early on for then candidate obama was critical. >> very critical. i think it broke a logjam. here was the patron saint of the democratic party in many ways. the lion of the senate, and saying i'm going to take a chance on the new guy. and what's more, he said at the time because he stands for everything my brother, john kennedy, stood for. and when he said that, and when he stood up there with him, it was a very, very big moment for president obama. and within the democratic party. and don't forget also, and john knows this, ted kennedy was a tireless campaigner. he didn't just give his support. he was out there on the campaign trail, and drew huge crowds for
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candidate obama. very, very important. and they remained close. one of the reasons the president wanted to get health care reform done was he had opened that ted kennedy would have lived to see it to its fruition. but that didn't occur. >> one of the people president obama, then senator obama, called him to -- oh,ed. ted kennedy's endorsement was pivot pivotal. the white house was very close to candidates. they have kept in touch. we always talk in conventions about the transitions, passing of the guard, we have not had a kennedy in congress the last few years. late senator kennedy passed away, his son left the house of representatives, decided not to run for re-election. there is a kennedy candidate, one of the late senator's nephews running in massachusetts. maybe that brief strike of no kennedy in congress might end. >> the loss of senator kennedy,
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how important was that in the health care debate? >> it's -- >> he was not there to see it. i think it's probably more possibility in other debates. if you will. senator kennedy was somebody speaker boehner would say, could always cut a deal. speaker boehner says the president broke his word. the president has a different view of the debt reduction. but senator kennedy was somebody -- democrats got mad at him. cut the prescription drug deal. he was someone who could have been a bridge, a big adult. >> kate bolduan on the floor with the massachusetts delegation. they're no doubt awaiting this very eagerly. >> reporter: waiting to hear this, absolutely. eagerly awaiting. the massachusetts delegation. i've been having a great conversation with diane saks. sorry for crouching. diane, thank you so much. you said that you've known ted kennedy for years. >> 25 or 30 years. >> reporter: so when -- as we're waiting for this tribute to begin, what are you hoping to hear from? >> i think that what joe kennedy
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will say -- and joe kennedy will make a wonderful congressman, by the way. i think what joe kennedy is going to say, is he's going to talk about how his uncle helped to change this -- not only our country, but helped to change the world. >>. >> reporter: and you know what, diane, i'm going to toss to the podium because he's speaking right now. joe kennedy. >> make no mistake. he is here with us this evening. i see him in the passion of our delegates. the character of our candidates. and the causes of that unite us. for my uncle teddy, politics was always about people. he was from a big family. and he understood that lives are measured not by line items in a budget, but by first days of schools and last days of summer. by promotions won and jobs lost.
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new homes, broken hearts, baptisms, funerals, and every precious moment in between. i remember campaigning with him once in texas for then-senator barack obama. we showed up at a hall on a small border town with only a handful of voters to greet us. he didn't care. they were working folks who had come out to support our candidate. uncle teddy got up, raised his hands and belted out -- sbd [ speaking spanish ] in a strong boston ack seceacce. the crowd went crazy for the massachusetts mariachi who sang it. it was uncle teddy at his best and he gave his best to everyone he met, whether a sick child, an injured soldier, an unemployed worker. that idea guided him through the bigger battles.
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to guarantee the right to organize, to end apartheid, bring peace to northern ireland and health care to all. it guides us in a tough campaign ahead. as we fight for our middle class in an economy that's built to last, defend a woman's receipt to choose, keep a college education affordable, protect our seniors' retirement security, and ask every american to do their part to safeguard the promise of this country. four years ago, uncle teddy marvelled at the grit and grace of a young senator who embodied the change our country sorely needed. as we pause today to remember senator kennedy, we recommit ourselves to the leader he entrusted to carry on our cause. thank you, very much.
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>> for all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures. the hope still lives. and the dream shall never die. ♪ ♪
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>> no matter who writes the history books, when people look back on this century, they will say that edward kennedy was one of the ableist and most productive, most compassionate and most effective men who served in the united states senate in the entire history of the country. >> now to boston, as we show you live coverage of the debate between democratic incumbent edward kennedy, and his republican challenger, mitt romney. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. i believe that since roe v. wade
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has been the law for 20 years, we should sustain and support it. and i sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice. >> on the question of the choice issue, i have supported the roe v. wade. i am pro choice. my opponent is multiple choice. when, mr. romney, are you going to tell the people the people os which health care program you favor? >> i have a plan. i have a position paper on health care. i'm happy to show it to you, senator, anytime you like. >> mr. romney, it isn't a question of showing me your paper, it's a question of showing all of the people in here that are watching this program the paper. >> well, they can get -- >> they ought to have an opportunity to know. >> yeah, i think it's a wonderful idea to take it through piece by piece and -- >> that's what you have to do with legislation. that's exactly what you have to do. now he looks like he's for minimum wage. now he's for education reform.
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if we give him two more weeks, he may even vote for me because those are the things i am for. mitt romney called me to congratulate me on being re-elected to the united states senate. the best way to find out what a party will do is what it has done. we were the ones that brought higher education, the medicare programs, the medicaid programs. knocked down the walls of discrimination. we brought a sound economy. a sensible foreign policy. those are the essential values of the democratic party, aren't they? >> i love this country. i believe in the bright light of hope and possibility. i always have, even in the darkest hours. i know what america can achieve. i've seen it. i've lived it. and with barack obama, we can do it again.
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>> teddy, teddy, teddy! >> thank you, thank you very much. thank you, thank you. >> teddy, teddy, teddy! >> this is the cause of my life. new hope. that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every american, north, south, east, west, young, old, will have decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege! [ applause ] ♪ ♪ >> today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the supreme court's decision to uphold it. >> if teddy were here, he would
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tell us, now it's time to roll up our sleeves, get to work, fully implement the law and move on with the business of our country. >> this one was a long time coming. and it's one that i knew my husband would have loved to have seen. everything he did was about the future. it was about going forward. it was about passing the torch to a new generation. ♪ >> those of us who knew teddy and worked with him here, people of both parties, know that what drove him was something more. ted kennedy's passion was born
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not of some rigid ideology but of his own experience. that large-heartedness. that concern and regard for the plight of others is not a partisan feeling. it's not a republican or a democratic feeling. it too is part of the american character. >> i've never shied away from being called a liberal. but what i have done is stand up for my beliefs. the work begin s a new. the hope rises again. and the dream lives on. ♪
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>> what a tribute to the late senator ted kennedy. vicki kennedy, his widow, she's going to be joining me exclusively right here on the convention floor. i'll speak with her live. what an emotional moment for her. you can see her taking a deep breath. erin burnett is in the massachusetts delegation right now with barney frank, the outgoing u.s. congressman. erin. >> all right, wolf, thanks very much. i am here with barney frank. congressman frank, obviously an emotional and moving video. is ted kennedy still a lion, does he still stand for the democratic party? >> well, no question. he's an example of how you can be principled, committed to your values, and be effective. you don't have to choose between being someone who stands for
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important things and someone who gets things done. he shows that a good politician in the best sense combines idealism and pragmatism. >> one thing i wonder when you talk about health care which obviously people credited kennedy with that idea and that passion, people say look, even if you love the health care bill, the timing of it was bad. the president used his political capital on that and then he didn't have it to fight the biggest crisis in the country, jobs. is that a fair criticism? >> interesting questions but the problem there is that assumes even if he wasn't doing health care the republicans would have been less obstructive on jobs. i'm afraid that's not the case. unfortunately, from the very beginning -- look, look at the contrast. george bush came to us on the democratic side in late '08 and said, we're in a crisis, we need your help, and we gave it to him, very openly, very fully. then obama comes in to try to deal with the terrible situation
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he inherited from bush and the republican media went into full partisan attack. mitch mcconnell announcing his number one goal was to defeat the president. i don't think in the end the timing, unfortunately, would have helped a great deal. >> final question, last time i talked to you, i loved it, you were so emotional, you were getting married. you're married. so far, so good? >> absolutely. my husband just walked by. yeah, i'm very, very pleased. i'm just glad to be with my husband at a national party convention that says we're not bad people that what we did was a good thing and we didn't hurt anybody else, which is a very good feeling. >> it is a part of the party platform. congressman barney frank. now let's send it up to candy. >> all right, erin, thanks very much. we're watching what's going on. what an emotional tribute. a really extraordinary moment.
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we watched it all unfold. i'm down here on the convention floor. i saw a lot of people openly, openly crying as that tribute continued. anderson, as i throw it back to you, they even used -- they even used a little bit of that debate that ted kennedy had with mitt romney when he was running for the senate and ted kennedy handily beat him. >> that part of the video tribute got a huge amount of applause in the hall. people on their feet. cheering that. interesting to see that debate. it really was a critical debate during that race. >> yes, the senator up in heaven. this is the time of year he liked to be on the water, the labor day weekend, but trust me, he's looking down and enjoying. if he can't be in the middle of this campaign, one more dig at mitt romney, he's a happy senator tonight. >> we've been told mitt romney has been practicing for the debates over the last several days. how important do you think these debates are going to be? >> hugely important. i wouldn't be surprised if you see president obama raising the
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same issues that ted kennedy raised in his debate against mitt romney. and that debate was stunning because you not only see the things that mitt romney supported when he ran for the senate, i mean he was a liberal or a moderate, whatever you want to call it. there was also one point in the debate where he accused ted kennedy of making some kind of real estate deal that was unethical. kennedy stood up and he said, mr. romney, the kennedys are not in public service to make money. we have given too much. end of election. end of election. >> david. >> the democrats have gotten off to a bumpy start with their platform but i must say these film tributes tonight have been very effective, very powerful. unexpectedly so. you have to say just from a professional point of view, watching the way this has unfolded, watching the way they used that kennedy film to make that point and dig into romney. but also to use kennedy and
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carter as testimonials to barack obama does a lot to help get their base enthusiastic again. >> i thought that video was one of the most effective pieces of political communication i've seen in a long, long time. >> and you make a lot of commercials. >> and that was eviscerating to bring back that debate like that in this hall. i think republicans will demand equal time and demand we run the jimmy carter video another couple of times. >> i was one of those democrats that became very teary eyed. ted kennedy was a giant. he was a giant for equality for all americans. he never wavered. he embodied the spirit found in scripture, to whom much is given, much is required. this is a man who kept working each and every day for women's rights, for civil rights, but most importantly for children. that was another one of his signature issues. so we miss teddy kennedy. i wish he was still out here fighting for us. >> he used a word you don't hear
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at this democratic convention very often, i'm a liberal. he represents an older democratic party. the democratic party that bill clinton transformed. he moved it to the center. >> i want to make one last point. that is the passing. we saw in joe kennedy tonight the new rising hope of the kennedy family, the kennedy tradition. he's going to win the barney frank seat. he declared. cleared the field. he is seen -- everyone knows it now -- as being a serious kennedy, someone who studies the issues. i thought it was impressive. >> i thought it was all about the heart. putting the heart back in the democratic party. and president obama, which is what we'll see from michelle too i think. >> let's check in with candy crowley as we see the view from the vice president's box there. vicki kennedy who will speak to wolf blitzer shortly. you covered that race between kennedy and romney, didn't you? >> i did. and we forget that at the beginning mitt romney gave him actually quite a squacare.
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they were worried that this was a newcomer that was going to be very strong. and for a while, the polls were close. but we saw, you know, certainly during those debates and a lot of other moments during that campaign that teddy kennedy was able to prevail. i was also there on the floor of the convention when teddy gave that speech that was in the video that we saw, the shall never die" speech. an incredible highlight. hard to remember that even in that day, the 1980 convention that carter had actually won and beaten off -- he was actually president, and beaten ted kennedy who challenged him. it was such an emotional high. they loved ted kennedy. they didn't want him to be president but they truly loved him. you had that same feel here in this arena. that kind of nostalgia for someone that really -- someone whose family and someone who in
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particular had done so much for the democratic party and been such an icon. so it was -- i agree with wolf. not many dry eyes around us either as they kind of went through all those fights that teddy kennedy made. and you saw president clinton, hailing him as so many did, as one of the great legislatures of the last century. so quite an emotional high and i think incredibly effective when he took off mitt romney. that got the loudest applause down here on the floor, anderson. >> yeah, there's no doubt about that. there's really been two moments that i witnessed in the last two hours. one when cory booker was speaking, people cheering. and certainly watching the old debate. >> two takeaways i got from the kennedy video. he's happy in heaven, he got to land one last punch in this campaign. it is a reminder that this is very much a base election. both campaigns. this is very much like 2004, bush versus kerry. both campaigns realizing the middle is such a small slice, the most important thing, energize your base and for the
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democrats, that is your liberal base. the other thing, the clinton tribute, saying he's the most effective legislature of his generation, you won't find a republican who disagrees with that. they trusted him. that's missing in washington. that's missing in washington right now. it is one of the cancers on our country that in washington democrats and republicans view each other as evil, as opposed to just opponents. >> well, was compromise a dirty word back then? now it seems -- >> for senator kennedy, it was never. again, some democrats were furious with him when he cut the deal with president bush on the medicare prescription drug benefit. some democrats were furious with him when he cut the deal with john boehner on no child left behind. who john boehner said, look, the democrats said you're giving up too much. ted kennedy never made perfect the enemy of the good. >> he said that the biggest mistake of his political career was not compromising with president nixon on health care reform. he couldn't have gotten it all but he could have got be a good piece of it. it was in his book, he said, i
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wish i had taken that little piece and then built upon it. because he was such a legislature. >> brianna keilar is down on the floor where folks are still talking about the kennedy video. brianna. >> hi there, anderson. looking around on the floor, you saw a lot of standing ovations from some people during that video. i'm standing here with susan lee. she's with the illinois delegation. she's from chicago. susan, i was struck by the fact that i looked over and you were crying. why? >> well, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in november 2011. and i had to take a leave of school because she didn't have insurance. and i had to look around to find out where i can get her some insurance. fortunately, for illinois, we have the breast cancer insurance where we're able to apply. so i had to take care of that and just find ways for her to get the services she needed. >> what was the part of the video that prompted you to tears? >> that just the heart of senator kennedy and president obama.
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where they passed this great health care reform. that now families like mine won't have to worry about whether they can go to the hospital when they're sick. and my mother, she -- if she had insurance, she would have gotten yearly mammograms. to find out she had actually stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 breast cancer. but she didn't have the insurance for that so -- >> susan lee, thank you very much. obviously, health care reform, very controversial this election, wolf. here on the floor of the democratic national convention, a whole lot of fans. >> no doubt about that. brianna, thanks very much. remember, we're standing by, we're going to be speaking exclusively with ted kennedy's widow vicki kennedy. she's making her way down here from the vice president's box. she's going to be sitting next to me. we're going to be talking about this very, very emotional few moments, this tribute to the late senator ted kennedy. but kate boulden has a special guest who remembers working with ted kennedy very, very closely. kate. >> absolutely, thank you, wolf. i'm standing here with reverend
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jesse jackson, civil rights leader who is one of the people who probably knows ted kennedy better than any. you got a standing ovation yourself when you walked in. we saw this moving tribute to senator ted kennedy. tell me your thoughts on that. >> the governors who blocked those doors didn't make the new south. ted kennedy and dr. king helped to make the new south. because the walls are down. because we all have the right to vote. you're going to have them come to south and north carolina. you can have the panthers and -- there's a new south. we are a better nation because of his work. and more american's health care's covered. that's a big deal among the working poor and working people. >> did you have a chance to see the tribute? >> yes, and met with his son earlier today. kennedy has earned his place in the annals of american history.
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and because he lived, others now are able to live longer. without the health care, many poor people would simply die. they wouldn't have the money or a pre-existing condition. you lose your job, you can be covered. you leave your college without a job you're on your parent's health insurance. the health care bill has been good for america. scandalous has been the attacks. the affordable health care is a good thing for america. >> i think this is the first convention in decades upon decades there has not been a kennedy in congress during the convention. can you talk about -- you talked about the impact of ted kennedy but talk about the impact of his legacy. >> the legacy outlasts the family. the new south which now honors all american's civil rights. we got right to vote in 1965. blacks can vote. white women can serve on juries. 18-year-olds can vote. students can vote on campus.
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all that new stuff we take for granted, that's the kennedy movement. we all benefit from it. we all adore him for it. >> what are you hoping when you move from this moving tribute, what are you hoping how that carries through the next few days? >> the enthusiasm is rising. we've been talking about that. the enthusiasm lag. i hope that at least on thursday night when the president speaks, there is three pieces of unfinished business. one, the growth of poverty. the exploding. 51 million americans are in poverty. if they're campaigning in ohio, 30 counties in ohio are in appalachia. what a great time to pick up the lyndon johnson legacy. the urban violence is exploding in cities like chicago. this is a great moment to address a plan for urban reconstruction and poverty. it completes the message. it's the key to winning and winning the right way. >> as we've spoken in the airport, we spoke when you were on earlier, i wanted to ask how
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your son is. i do know that patrick kennedy did take the time to meet with him earlier this month. how is your son doing? >> well, he is regaining his strenth slowly. he loves this work. he's done this for 18 years now. so we ask people to continue to pray for him and our family. it's been a tough ordeal. he'll make it in time. he must take his time. >> can we expect to see congressman jackson back in congress? >> that's a health issue and i would like that to be addressed at the appropriate time. >> thank you, so much, reverend, for your time. best to your family. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. wolf, back to you. >> we of course wish jesse jackson jr., the congressman, a speedy recovery. i'm standing by. i'll be speaking exclusively with vicki kennedy, the widow of the late senator ted kennedy. this is a jam-packed convention, not easy to move around. there are people all over the place. also this hour, stand by for this, we're taking an exclusive look at president obama's
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private life in the white house. in a rare interview about his family, he tells our own jessica yellin how he and the first lady are going out of their way to make sure their daughters have normal childhoods. >> they go to the mall. they go to movies. they have friends over here. my volt is the best vehicle i've ever driven. i bought the car because of its efficiency. i bought the car because i could eliminate gas from my budget. i don't spend money on gasoline. it's been 4,000 miles since my last trip to the gas station. it's pretty great. i get a bunch of kids waving at me... giving me the thumbs up. it's always a gratifying experience. it makes me feel good about my car. i absolutely love my chevy volt. ♪
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we're back here at the democratic national convention with a very special guest, vicki kennedy, the widow of the late senator ted kennedy. we were watching you up there in the box with the vice president, mrs. biden. i could see you were having a tough time even breathing. you were so move by what was going on. >> i was very moved.
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i thought it was a beautiful film. a beautiful tribute. i thought the reaction of the crowd was very powerful. >> i'm sitting down here on the floor. you look out, massachusetts delegation is right over there. i can't tell you how many people were openly not just weepy, they were crying big time. >> it was very powerful. >> had you seen that video before? >> i had seen parts of it but i hadn't seen the whole thing put together. >> so what was going through your mind? as you were remembering your husband, the great senator ted kennedy, especially in a moment like this? >> for me, it's just hearing his voice. as soon as i hear his voice, it's -- you know, i take that deep breath and it's so powerful. i was just remembering the power of the man. and that huge presence. and that joy of life and that man who would have loved to have been here this year. >> big legislative
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accomplishments. amazing when you think about it. some of our analysts pointed out, republicans will agree he was a great, great legislature. >> i am biased, i am his wife saying this, but i think he was the greatest legislator ever. when you saw those blurbs of everything he worked on. i think this was one of the greatest things about ted. someone asked him really in the last couple of year, as he was writing his book, actually, the editor of the book said, what is your greatest legislative accomplishment? and he really hadn't thought about what legislation he had passed. because he was always moving to the next thing. he was just thinking about how to improve the lives of people. how to move our country forward. how to keep on what he called our march for progress. and it was so powerful in that film to see frame after frame
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after frame of that march for progress and what his accomplishments, what he had fought for, with republicans and democrats, really. those were bipartisan achievements by and large. >> if he were here, too bad he's not, but if he were here tonight, give us a little sense, what would he be saying to a crowd like this? >> oh, i think that's too impossible to say. i never predict what he would say. but i know what he said four years ago. and i know how he looked forward to the future. with hope. and optimism. how he thought america's best days were still ahead. that's who he was. >> you were sitting up there with the vice president and dr. biden. what were they saying to you about ted kennedy? because we know joe biden as a senator worked about as closely with your late husband as anyone. >> we had wonderful private conversations about teddy. but the vice president and teddy were very close colleagues in
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the senate and very close friends. they served together for all of -- all of joe biden's senate career. teddy was there when then senator biden entered the senate. they became friends then. they served on the same committee together. and he was talking about the special friendship that they had. >> i remember when ted kennedy endorsed barack obama for the democratic presidential -- >> what a deal that was. >> remind our viewers what senator kennedy -- because it wasn't easy. he was being opposed by hillary clinton as you remember. >> and he and hillary clinton were very good friends. and remain very good friends. but it was an exhilarating day at american university. when teddy endorsed barack obama. and you saw a little clip of that in the tribute film. where he talked about the torch being passed to a new generation. and people forget sometime that
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teddy was healthy then. that was before he had been diagnosed with cancer. so it was the act of a very healthy vigorous man in the prime of his legislative career. but embracing this young senator obama. saying that he inspired him. saying that he believed he could lift our nation and make a difference and make change. >> what did you think of those little clips in the video of your late husband and that debate he had against his senatorial opponent at the time in massachusetts, mitt romney? >> i remember that campaign so well. and how much fun. i know it's hard to think of it as being fun bus it was such a competitive race. but it was such a fun campaign. and how teddy in a very real way reconnected with the voters. because he hadn't had such a competitive race in a long time.
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and he reconnected with massachusetts. where they learned, again, what he had done in a specific way. what his record was. and i remember someone saying, isn't this the toughest race you've had since your first. and he said, no, it's not my toughest. it's competitive but it's not tough because i know who i am, i know what i believe, so i'm enjoying it. because i'm getting to go out and talk about what i believe and what i want to fight for. >> vicki kennedy, thanks very much for coming over. thanks for sharing some thoughts on a very, very emotional night for you. grateful for you coming over here it we'll continue this conversation i'm sure down the road. thank you very much. >> thanks so much. >> don't leave yet. the big headliner of the night tonight will of course be the first lady of the united states, michelle obama. we're told that the first lady will keep her remarks positive. we're about to get a really red
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meat speech from the current governor of massachusetts assailing the record of his predecessor, that would be mitt romney. first, though, a convention flashback. >> for anybody who was at the 2004 convention, obama's key note was the moment. >> there is not a black america and a white america and latino america and asian america. there's the united states of america. >> it's one of those times when a keynote address catapults a person, a very young person, with little experience, into the presidency. great shot.
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president obama says he and his daughters are staying up late tonight over at the white house. they're watching their mother's convention speech. in her documentary entitled "obama revealed" our own jessica yellin got the president to open up about the first family's private life. the president repeatedly, repeatedly, jessica, emphasized the importance of his family life. how he tries to juggle what is going on. you did an amazing job in that. >> thank you, wolf. >> thank you so much for doing that. >> he did talk about the importance of being a good and present father and what that meant to him. one of the things that i found was that during a campaign season, i think, it's very helpful to him, no doubt, to
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emphasize his point because he wants to reach voters. it's also grounding to emphasize he's a family man as well as the president. but i also believe, that as valerie jarrett said to me in another interview, that he misses the presence of his own father in his life and he wants to be a present father to his girls. we've talked terrorism, political gridlock and economic crisis. >> right. >> i'd like to ask how that compares to raising adolescent girls. >> you know, the girls are just doing great. and one of the big concerns that both michelle and i had when we moved here was how are they going to adjust to this weird artificial environment and being in the bubble. and they have thrived. and the reason they've thrived partly is because i think all the staff, the secret service, everybody has really accommodated our requests to make sure their lives are as normal as possible. so they have sleepovers. they go to the mall.
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they go to the movies. they have friends over here. and there's nothing they can't do that other girls their age are doing. and the other thing is michelle. who's just a great mom. and makes sure that they're responsible, they're doing their homework, they're doing their chores, they treat everybody with respect. you know, they're kind. you know, i think we've done a good job instilling in them the same values that we grew up with. and that helps a lot. >> you did a great job in that interview. you know, the daughters, they're growing up in the white house. >> they are. sasha and malia 11 and, i believe, 14. the 14-year-old is starting high school tonight, or today i think. and they've been kept out the public eye a lot. i think you'll see them a little bit more. you'll definitely see mrs. obama a lot more as the campaign enters into these final stretches. she's one of the president's most effective speakers on the
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campaign trail. >> some would say the most effective speaker. >> yes. >> tonight, she's going to give an amazing speech. jessica, don't go too far away. we have more of your exclusive interview with the president of the united states coming up throughout our coverage tonight. let's go to john berm be. down on the convention floor with robert gibbs, top adviser for the obama campaign. >> robert gibbs, you're now a senior adviser to the obama campaign. but you've been with him since he was a state senator back in 2004. for you tonight personally, what's different? >> well, it's a little bit of a different atmosphere. look, i think this place is so excited to hear from michelle and hear, thursday, from the president. it's been a tremendous journey. i think it's one that's always been staked in an american story of hope and opportunity. >> you say different. different how? less enthusiasm? >> no, no, no. look, i think -- i think this
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place is really excited. i think we're going to be really excited come november. because i think everybody here and throughout the country understands what's at stake. obviously, when i walked in here with the senate senator eight years ago, nobody even knew who we were. the morning after he gave that speech, i remember a cop in boston stopped us and talked to him about how much that speech had meant to him. telling that story of hope and opportunity in america. that's when he knew it resonated. >> robert, there's been a lot of talk about the democratic party platform which we saw, really, for the first time today. there is no mention of the word "god." and that's the first time that's happened for a while. what kind of message does that send to the american people? >> there's talk throughout the platform about faith and religion. and i think that's what's important. it's what binds us together. all of us here, a lot of us here believe in a higher power. and in a being. i certainly believe in god. i know there's thousands of god fearing democrats in this
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building here tonight. >> was that a deliberate omission? deliberate decision not to use the word "god"? >> again, i think all the language about religion and faith i think -- i think that lets people understand and know what this party is all about. >> but you didn't answer. >> i think i did the first time. >> robert, you're also an expert on communications. over the last 48 hours or so, there's been some different messaging on the answer to the question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? first it was no answer. then it was no. now it's absolutely. what can we expect tonight to that question? >> well, look, where we sit, four years ago, you know, we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs. gm was on a pathway to bankruptcy. gm sails were up 10% just this month, in fact, in figures that came out today. you can't look at where we were and where we are and not think we're better.
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are we where we all want to be? are we where the president wants us to be? absolutely not. we have to push forward, strengthen the security of the middle class and put more people back to work. yes, we're better off. yes, we have a long way to go. >> all right, robert gibbs, senior adviser to the obama campaign, thank you so much. great to see you. anderson, back to you. >> talking to robert gibbs there on the floor. we are awaiting a number of speeches. obviously the big speech tonight, michelle obama. a lot of people with a lot of anticipation building to see what happens with that. how much, john, in the days ahead, in the day ahead, are we going to be hearing about this not having the word "god" in the platform from republicans? >> again, the democrats went after the republican platform with vigor. they saw things in the republican platform they thought were political openings. they went after them with vigor. republicans are going to do just the same. why was god in the platform four years ago and four years before that and four years before that? who designed to take it out?
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those are questions we are trying to get these answers. that tells you something. it seems to me like a mistake and an oversight. why was the israel plank softened? the word's israel's our strongest ally taken out of the platform? they were in obama's platform for years ago. jerusalem is the capital of israel. was in senator obama's party platform four years ago. they're not in the platform this year. those are answers -- those are legitimate questions. the platform is not going to decide the election come november. however, in an election this close, when you do things like this, you open yourself up to questions and criticisms -- >> in plasharticular, the democ have been making the argument that mitt romney was behind the republican party platform which did not talk about exemptions in the case of rape, the life of the mother.
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>> one of the biggest indicators of how you're going to vote in this election is how religious you are and whether you attend church. the more you go to church, the more you're likely to vote republican so of course republicans are going to use that. >> brianna keilar on the floor with a guest. >> i'm standing here with sandra fluk who of course is the georgetown law grad who has become quite the insta celebrity talking about the president's contraception policy. rush limbaugh called you a derogatory name. he called you, these are his words, a slut. do you think his words represent mitt romney and the republican party? >> well, i think what's more important is what we saw from mitt romney in the aftermath of that. we saw that he was either unable or unwilling to stand up to those attacks. the best he could say is those weren't the words he would have used. now, i'm a strong woman. i don't need mr. romney to stand up for me. but i do need to have a president who can stand up to the extreme voices in his party.
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and that's clearly not mr. romney. >> how big do you think social issues are going to play in this election? >> well, i don't think they're just social issues. i think that access to the health care that women need, women's access to equal pay, those are economic issues as well. because that makes a big difference in a family's budget. whether or not they are afraid of going bankrupt the next day because of the health care emergency. i think those issues are going to be huge this time around. i've been talking to women across the country. they're very concerned. and they understand that we have a really clear choice between mr. romney and president obama. >> let me ask you this, because the economy is the number one issue, and when democrats start talking about these kinds of issues, contraception, abortion, they really tend to shore up their female base. should these be the issues or should the economy be more the issue that people are focused on? >> as i said, i see them as connected. but i don't think it's exclusive to either one. you know, we need to be talking
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about the full agenda of what president obama can do for america in the next four years. and when i talk to women who are concerned about these issues, it's really not just the base. i'm hearing this from women across the political spectrum. they really feel this republican party is out of step with american women. >> and sandra fluke, thank you so much for being with us. sandra fluke will be speaking tomorrow, anderson, in the 9:00 p.m. hour. no doubt, she'll be talking about the president's contraceptive policy. >> brianna, thank you. the convention delegates are about to hear an emotional appeal. we'll hear from a mother who says her child would not be alive today if the obama program had not passed. we'll be right back. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future
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let's listen in to tammy duckworth, congressional candidate from illinois. >> thank god for the food stamps, public education and pell grants that helped me finish high school. and college. in time, we pulled through. with this start, i was able to earn my own commission as an army officer and i became an assault helicopter pilot working my way up to command a blackhawk helicopter company. in 2003, my national guard unit was mobilized, and i became one of the first army women to fly combat missions in iraq.
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and almost -- [ applause ] -- almost a year into my tour, i was wounded and recovered at walter reed with other wounded warriors. some of us had an obvious injury. others had scars on the inside that were less visible but no less real. at the hospital, i realized my new responsibility. to honor the buddies who saved me by serving our military men and women. and i became the director of the illinois department of veterans affairs. we led the nation -- we led the nation in screening for traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress. and we created a tax credit for illinois businesses that hire veterans. then president obama asked me to help keep our sacred trust with veterans of all eras at the u.s.
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department of veterans affairs. we worked to end the outrage of veterans having to sleep on the same streets they once defended. we improved services for female veterans. and i reached out to young develops by creating the office of online communications. barack obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander in chief. ending the war in iraq, refocussing on afghanistan, and eradicating terrorist leaders, including bin laden. president obama pushed for fairness in the military. listening to commanders, as we ended don't ask, don't tell. and on how to allow women to officially serve in more combat jobs. don't you think, don't you think
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it's time that we stopped being surprised that america's daughters are just as capable of doing their jobs and defending liberty as her sons? [ applause ] when it comes to our own men and women in harm's way, we have a clear choice on november 6th. last week, mitt romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he's seeking to command. but he chose to criticize president obama instead of even upt eer uttering the word "afghanistan." barack obama will never ignore our troops. he will fight for them. that's why he is my choice on november 6th. my choice -- [ applause ] -- my choice is to do what my family did when times were hard. roll up our sleeves and get to work. my choice is to do what my crew
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did for me in a dusty field in iraq. on november 12th, 2004, i was co-piloting my blackhawk north of baghdad when we started taking enemy fire. eye rocket-propelled grenade hit our helicopter. exploding in my lap. ripping off one leg. crushing the other. and tearing my right arm apart. but i kept trying to fly till i passed out. and that moment, my survival and the survival of my entire crew, depended on all of us pulling together. and even though they were wounded themselves, and insurgents were nearby, they simply refused to leave a fallen comrade behind. their heroism is why i'm alive today. and ultimately -- [ applause ]
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ultimately, that is what this election is about. yes, it's about the issues that matter to me, building -- [ applause ] >> usa! usa! >> -- building an economy that will create jobs here at home. and will outcompete countries around the world. but it's also about something else. it's about whether we do for our fellow americans what my crew did for me. whether we'll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled. whether we'll pull together in a time of need. whether we'll refuse to give up until the job is done. so let's finish what we started. let's keep moving forward with barack obama. let's do what this country has always done. look adversity in the eye and work together to overcome it.
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god bless our military men and women who are in harm's way today. god bless their families. and always, god bless the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] listening to tammy duckworth who is in a contentious race against republican congressman joe walsh. her second attempt to get into congress. clearly, a lot of people, again, this is another one of those moments in the hall where basically kind of the hall stopped, people were watching very closely. >> well, there's no question. look last week, republicans made a huge mistake. they did not mention
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afghanistan. and as a result, john mccain mentioned it in passing, but mitt romney failed to mention it. tonight, what democrats really want to do is talk about that we stand behind those 70,000 men and women in afghanistan. we want to bring them home responsibly. tonight, michelle obama will also make reference to their struggle, their plight, and of course the fallen heroes of this country. >> alex, did it surprise you that mitt romney did not mention afghanistan in his speech? >> you know, one speech is not a campaign. there are different things you do in different places in a campaign. should he have at least noted it? probably. but that's what you have a campaign for. he focused on the economy. he had a job to do. and he did it. >> his campaign said he talked about it the day before. but the reference he made the day before was literally like one or two lines. essentially saying there is a war going on in afghanistan. >> yeah, and that may have been something that would have been a little stronger to touch on. what i'm noticing here is how
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we're seeing some basic political blocking and tackling. a democrat wants to move to the mid, strong on defense. you put a war hero on the stage. republicans want to move to the middle, we care. so we're seeing a lot of the basic political blocking and tackling going on here that for the benefit of the folks at home over that little teeny slice that's left. >> david. >> i think if you're running for commander in chief, you talk about the troops who are overseas in places like iraq and afghanistan. it was a mistake. it was an oversight. i can't understand it. there was a lot about that i didn't understand. what is striking to me tonight is the amount of enthusiasm in the hall. it's more palpable than it was at the republican convention. it does seem to me just in terms putting on a convention, these folks know what they're doing so far. i've been, like, wow, you guys have got this right. they're catching a real break tonight because there's no storm. people aren't going over there
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and wanting to watch. they're able to get their message out in a more consistent way. i think they're off to a good start. >> there does seem to be -- maybe it's, you know, an unfair comparison but there does seem to be a certain energy here. maybe it's a younger crowd. i'm not exactly sure what's behind it. >> i think there's more energy here because there wasn't any other candidate. barack obama's president of the united states. these people are really strong supporters of his. and what i thought i saw last week in tampa was a sense that mitt romney had been lots of people's number two candidate. and that in many ways, he's seen as a transitional figure to the next generation of republicans. you look at the people they highlighted. just like the democrats are highlighting here. when the torch was passed in that film from ted kennedy, it was to barack obama. it was not to the person after president obama. >> this is not to criticize the republican dell gates. this is just a fact. it was an older, whiter crowd.
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there are also rules in play here. donna nose tna knows the rules she helps write them. they have a lot more alter nat delegates. part of the enthusiasm is there are a lot more people. >> that's because we're more inclusive. we like to bring more people to our party. >> quick reminder, we're awaiting first lady michelle obama's speech tonight. her address to the democratic convention. her husband and daughters will be watching from the white house. according to president obama. also ahead, we have an exclusive interview with president obama's former personal assistant talking about how his former boss taldeals with personal adversity and setbacks. we'll be right back. dad vo: ok, time for bed, kiddo. lights out. ♪
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we're back here in charlotte, north carolina. the democratic national convention. we're on the floor as we await an emotional speech from stacey lihn. talking about her girl, her daughter, 2, who was born with a bh major congenital heart problem. talking about obama care, as it's called. we have a special guest here who's come up to join me. the democratic presidential nominee from back in 19 -- >> 24 years ago -- >> but who's counting. michael dukakis is here. how does it feel? >> good, good. >> you're from massachusetts. >> i am. >> so you know mitt romney. >> indeed. >> you saw him as the governor. what do you think? >> he's a disaster when it comes to economic leadership. that's a story that has to be told. >> tell us why. >> we heard the same thing from him. he wallas a business guy -- >> excuse me for one second. there's a powerful video involving stacey lihn. let's listen and then we'll discuss. >> -- her second surgery took
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place at 4 months old. and she's awaiting her third and final surgery so her half a heart works for her entire body. >> come on. >> before the affordable care act, health insurance companies were allowed to set lifetime caps on how much coverage each individual was provided. by 6 months of age, zoe was halfway to her lifetime cap. >> apple. >> that's an orange. >> orange. >> here's insurance that you've been paying for for the past 20 years but don't have a child that was born with a heart defect because once you reach a certain limit, we're not going to insure them anymore. thankfully, in march of 2010, the affordable care act was passed. and i remember getting a letter from our insurance company telling us that there are no more lifetime caps. it was a huge relief for us to know that we didn't have to worry about that. zoe's made us live a little bigger and a little brighter every day.
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so we don't take anything for granted. >> slide. >> my family needs president obama to be re-elected because we need the affordable care act to stay intact. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome stacey lihn. zoe lihn and emerson lihn from phoenix, arizona. >> governor romney says people like me were the most excited about president obama the day we voted for him. but that's not true. not even close. for me, there was the day the affordable care act passed. and i no longer had to worry about getting zoe the care she needed. there was the day the letter arrived from the insurance company, saying that our daughter's lifetime cap had been lifted. there was the day the supreme
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court upheld obama care. [ cheers and applause ] and, like so many moms with sick children, i shed tears. and i could breathe easier. knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall. or if, god forbid, zoe needs a heart transplant, obama care provides my family security and relief. but we're also scared. governor romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every single day. zoe's third open heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. if mitt romney becomes president and obama care is repealed, there's a good chance she'll hit her lifetime cap.
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there's no way we could afford to pay for all the care she needs to survive. when you have a sick child, it's always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the front of your mind. on top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics. 1 in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. president obama is fighting for them. [ applause ] he's fighting for families like mine. and we need to fight for him. [ applause ]
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>> what a powerful statement. governor dukakis. you were the presidential nominee in 1988. >> it was. >> you know something about this issue. that really said a lot as far as the democrats -- what does it say to you? >> well, it's one of the reasons i've always felt that this was a moral issue in my opinion, wolf. i mean, here's a controversy that's the wealthiest country in the world. we spend more on health care than any other country by far it and we still have millions and millions of americans without health insurance. i think it's unconscionable. absolutely unconscionable. and the irony of all of this is that mitt romney had something to do with starting it. and has walked away from it. i don't understand it. >> in massachusetts, he got, what, universal health care -- >> well, he started running away from it even in massachusetts. we managed to do it -- >> it's worked out pretty good in massachusetts. >> 99% of the people insured. it's worked extremely well. >> tell us -- i think you used the word he would be a disaster
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economically. because he brings all this business experience. he's got economic ideas. >> that's what he told us when he ran for governor. but we ended up 47th out of 50th in job creation. today, we're in the top ten, thanks to a new governor who really works at it. so the notion that mitt romney can provide economic leadership to this country for those of us who watched him in action is ridiculous. in fact, he's 20 points behind obama in massachusetts. and it has a lot to do with his performance. >> massachusetts is a very democratic state. >> but we voted for reagan twice. we elected a bunch of republican governors. we elected scott brown. massachusetts is not a down the line democratic state. we saw him in action. the fact of the matter is, he's a bust when it comes to economic -- >> someone who's been in the position as a presidential nominee, one piece of advise you would give the president, your friend, right now? >> i think he's just got to be himself. he's got to get out there. he's got to do exactly what he's doing for the last week. i like his spirit. he's energized. he's working. but he's got to tell the american people about this guy
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he's running against. because when you've got the kind of economy, you've got to tell people about it. a mistake unfortunately i made, as you'll recall -- >> remember covering your run for the white house at that time. we spent some time together. thanks for spending time with us. governor michael dukakis. our coverage continues from the democratic convention. a latino will deliver the key note speech, san antonio mayor juliano castro. >> there is only one person who has done anything on immigration reform and that person is barack obama. >> democrats are using the convention to spotlight immigration issues and try to outdo republicans in their pitch for the hispanic vote.
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>> yes, we can! >> now, cnn turns the spotlight on one of the biggest platforms in american politics. in a crucial election battleground. >> i promise, north carolina, we will emerge stronger than we were before. >> welcome to the democratic national convention. it's your vote. your future. your country. your choice. now we'd like to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world to this, the democratic national convention. charlotte, north carolina. we'll be hearing from the first lady of the united states, michelle obama, very, very soon. >> first, we're going to hear from two other members of the president's family, his
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half-sister and michelle obama's brother. also this hour, a man who was inside the oval office for many of the toughest decisions, his former chief of staff, now chicago mayor rahm emanuel. >> our cnn correspondents, brianna keilar, kate boulden, john berman, on the convention floor. also with the delegates, close to where michelle obama will be tonight, is our own candy crowley. set the scene for us. what are you hearing from your sources? >> well, michelle obama is going to do what only a wife can do. which is give these folks and the folks in the viewing audience an idea of the private side of president obama. this is something that you don't always see in public. in fact, almost never see in public. and what they say they want her to do is make the connection between the kind of person he is and the policies that he's pursued while in the white house. in particular, she'll talk about
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how he makines decisions regardless of the political ramifications. she'll bring up the auto industry bailout and how unpopular that was but he knew it was right for america, et cetera. of course, now it is political -- especially true in ohio and michigan, two states that play big parts in the upcoming elections. so this will be her time not to really introduce her husband, because let's face it he's been president for almost four years. people feel as though they know him. but to make that connection between the man and the policies. she'll also talk a bit about her work with military families. in fact, she's going to be introduced by a woman who sent her a note who is herself a military wife. that will be the introduction to her, wolf. >> candy, thanks very much. the former governor of ohio, a key battleground state, is getting the crowd pretty excited right now. let's listen in. >> barack obama knows our struggles and, my friends, he
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shares our values. now, mitt romney, he lives by a different code. to him, american workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. to him, all profits are created equ equal whether they're made on our shores or off. that's why companies that romney invested in were dubbed "outsourcing pioneers." you know our nation was built by pioneers. pioneers who accepted untold risks in pursuit of freedom. not by pioneers seeking offshore profits at the expense of american workers here at home. mitt romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "let detroit go
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bankrupt." you know, if he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from michigan to ohio and across the nation. mitt romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit by tearing it down. if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves! mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport! it summers on the beaches of the cayman islands and winters on the slopes of the swiss alps! in matthew, chapter 6, verse 21,
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the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. and, my friends, my friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the united states of america! [ applause ] and you know it's well past time, it's well past time for mitt romney to come clean with the american people on what he's saying about the president's poli policy from welfare to work. he's lying. as simple as that.
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and on his tax returns, he's hiding. you know, you have to wonder just what is so embarrassing that he's going to such great lengths to bury the truth. but whatever he's doing to avoid taxes, can it possibly be worse than the ryan/romney tax plan that would have sliced mitt's total tax rate to less than 1%? and so, my friends, there is a true choice in this election. barack obama is betting on the american worker. mitt romney is betting on a bermuda shell corporation. barack obama is saving the american auto industry.
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mitt romney saved on his taxes. barack obama is an economic patriot! mitt romney is an outsourcing pioneer! my friends, the stakes are too high. the differences too stark to set this one out. so let us stand as one on november the 6th and move this country forward by re-electing president obama! thank you. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the honorable kathleen sebelius. >> let's check in with our floor correspondents, brianna keilar.
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she's keeping an eye on the president's relatives. what will michelle obama say tonight? a lot of folks are going to be asking that question. wanting to see her speech. beyawn that, brianna, what are you hearing? >> well, anderson, she's going to be talking about really his values. she's going to be serving as the ultimate character witness. she's had a very heavy hand in writing this speech. she's really the person who's closest to him. you've seen his top aides obviously be very close to him as he makes decisions. they're the ones notice oval office. michelle obama is the one he goes home to at night and discusses these things with. she'll be on message. talking about how he puts the middle class first as he's made decisions about things like the health care reform and auto bailout. she's going to be putting more of a personal touch on her message. anderson. >> no doubt heard by now, president obama earlier today said he is going to be at home with his daughters watching this. one of his daughters had their first day of high school today.
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kate boulduan is standing by with actress who knows michelle obama. >> thank you, anderson. i'm with three faces many of our viewers are familiar with. actress alfre woodward. you know first lady michelle obama. she's the much anticipated speech tonight. what do voters need to hear from her this evening? >> i worked with the first lady on the committee of arts and humanities. i've worked since 2008. i have been struck by how in touch she is as a woman, as a mother, and as a daughter. she just embodies what it is to be an american woman. and so tonight i think she'll be able to talk to us, talk to -- everybody's so excited that she's coming, but she'll be able to talk to us, lift us up, put into context all of the progress that the president has made with one hand tied behind his back,
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for women. and when women move ahead, families move ahead. the whole family does. so i think we'll be able to hear exactly from lily ledbetter, fair pay act, all the way through to protections that the health care act provides for women and children. so i think she'll put that in context tonight. that's what we need, is that people are being told that nothing has happened, that this president has been more active and accomplished more in this time period than any other president in the history of this country. >> tim, i want to get your thoughts. as we await the first lady's speech. there's been a lot of talk among some of the president's biggest supporters. some disappointment that he hasn't done enough or he hasn't made good on his promises, especially among some in hollywood. what do you think? >> well, i think that he's faced an unprecedented amount of obstructionism from the republican party. i mean, there have been more filibusters during his term than in the history of the united
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states previously. and i think that the fact that he's achieved what he has, which i don't want to underestimate because it's significant, is miraculous. considering the opposition. >> john, what do you think is the major issue that voters need to be caring about? what's the major issue that's bringing you out here to charlotte? >> well, it's the economy, of course. and we're also here with the coalition for the arts. and how arts programs help create jobs. you can invest $1 and you get $7 back when you invest in the arts, taxable dollars. so that's what we're here, to talk to the coalition for the arts. i think the big thing here is obama creates the equal opportunity america that i love to be a part of. it made me who i am today. >> all right, john, tim, alfre, thank you very much. anderson, i'm going to toss it back to you. they're also waiting very much to hear from the first lady this evening. >> yeah, a lot folks are. john berman is down on the floor
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also with somebody who knows the first lady quite well. john. >> anderson, i'm here with the attorney general of california. i lost my train of thought because so many people are here getting their picture taken with her. because she is seen as a rising star in the democratic party. what's it like for you to be here today? >> it's wonderful. to be standing here in the midst of the delegation, i'm a proud californian, and there's great energy around this election cycle and people are absolutely committed to doing everything we need to do to get out the vote and get folks engaged and get them to express their voice. >> you were one of the first elected officials in california to endorse barack obama in 2008. you've been a supporter of his since way back in 2004. as you sit here tonight and look back on these past, you know, eight, nine, 12 years, how has he changed? >> well, i think he has become the president of the united states. i knew him when he was first running for u.s. senate.
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and a lot has happened in his career. a lot has happened in our country. and he is -- he is, right now, someone who i am so proud of as an american. he is a leader who has taken on some of the most difficult issues we face like the affordable care act and pushed it through in a way that no administration could in generations. he is someone who has really taken leadership around what we need to do to save america's auto industry. you know, there's -- the list goes on. from lilly ledbetter, signing that into law to give equal rights to women that show each of those his courage and his commitment to the american people. >> kamala harris, thank you, the attorney general of california. rumorled as a possible supreme court choice at some point. >> you know, i don't like to -- >> anderson, back to you. >> john, thanks. we're standing by to hear from
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two members of the president's family we very rarely see, the first lady's brother and president's half-sister getting ready to address the delegates. also, exclusive interview with rahm emanuel. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco.
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we're back here in charlotte, north carolina, the democratic national convention. the chicago mayor rahm emanuel spoke with our own jessica yellin while she was preparing her amazing documentary "obama revealed." he was there, white house chief of staff, through some of the most toughest moments of this first term of the obama
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administration. >> he helped sheppard the stimulus bill through, health care reform. they got almost no republican support. and the auto bailout, he helped craft that. which the federal government did on its own. and i asked him about those early days. and rahm emanuel described him to me in his own colorful way. did you expect there to be a honeymoon period? >> you know, i don't know if i -- i don't remember walking the hall saying, should we get a honeymoon? we got problems to solve. i don't have the luxury of looking at oil paintings and talking to them. the president didn't hire me to make that guess on whether we get a honeymoon or not. first of all, we don't get a honeymoon from the country. you got a set of problems. you have to deal with them. >> never mincing words, rahm emanuel. he's not mincing words right now. he's speaking right behind me. let's listen in to the chicago mayor. >> it is their voices that president obama brings to the oval office. it is their values i saw him
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fight for every day. in the first month in office, he fought for the american recovery act to cut taxes for the middle class. to put people to work building america's roads, rails and runways. and today our economy has gone from losing $800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 29 months. banks are slowly but surely lending again. and never again will taxpayers play foot the bill for wall street's excesses. in case we forgot, that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fought for. that was a change president obama delivered. president obama took office knowing full well that for the last century presidents had tried to reform our health care system. today, because of president
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obama's courage, kids can stay on their parent's plan till they're 26. insurers can't kick you off your policy because you have a pre-existing limit. because you've hit the pre-existing limit. they won't be able to deny you because you have a pre-existing condition. because of president obama's leadership, every american will have access to affordable quality health care. [ applause ] that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fault for. that was a change president obama delivered. i saw the president make the tough calls in the situation room. and today our troops in iraq have finally come home so america can do some nation building here at home. that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fought for. that was a change president obama delivered. i remember when the president received the report that the auto industry had a few weeks before its collapse.
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we met in the roosevelt room late into the night. some the president's advisers said that in order to save general motors, you had to let chrysler go under. others said it's like throwing good money after bad. among all the experts, there were only guesses. and nobody put it at better than a 1 in 4 shot. only the president suggested going all in to save the industry and the jobs. rising above all the voices in washington, president obama listened to the voices that mattered to him most. the voices of the autoworkers in the communities that depended on them. just like the voices the steelworkers and the communities on the south side of chicago where he worked earlier in his career. president obama, to president obama, they weren't just
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companies that needed a loan. they were communities that needed a leader to stand up for them. and because president obama made the right choice, over 1 million americans are still working today. the american auto industry is not just surviving. it's thriving. where mitt romney was willing to turn his back on akron, dayton and toledo, ohio, the president said, "i've got your back." that wallace a change we believed in. that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fought for. that was a change president obama delivered. and in those first few month, the president worked to put accountability into our children's schools with race to the top. so that every child has an education that measures up to their full potential. he was willing to demand change and embrace reform. the president never changed his views to suit the moment. or the audience. and that is also a measure of
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leadership. every challenge was different. every choice was difficult. but every time the leadership was steady. now, the one thing i know with absolute certainty, having served two great presidents, is that in the next four years, an unforeseen crisis, challenge or conflict is going to show up and seize this country. whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the white house when that crisis lands like a thud on the oval office desk? that's right, a person who said in four words let detroit go bankrupt or a president who had another four words, not on my watch? a person who believes in giving tax cuts to the most fortunate?
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or a president who believes in making college affordable for all americans? a person who wanted to keep don't ask don't tell or a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love? believe me, having served two great presidents, when the fog of uncertainty that surrounds a crisis storms into the white house, and all the advisers and chiefs of staff have only guesses and hedges to offer the president, it will be the president's leadership that determines how we as a nation meet the challenges that face the middle class. it is the president's values that shape the future in which the middle class has hope. the person who takes the oath of office in the next four months will shape not just the next four years but the next 40 years of this great nation. and these next four years, we need proven leadership. proven judgment. and proven values.
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america needs four more years of barack obama. thank you and god bless you. [ applause ] >> there he is, the chicago mayor rahm emanuel, the former white house chief of staff. get ready. we're waiting to hear from the first lady of the united states and her brother and the president's half-sister. there's a lot, a lot coming up from the democratic convention. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to the democratic national convention. we just heard from chicago mayor rahm emanuel. candy crowley is standing by with the mayor. candy. >> the chicago mayor but also former chief of staff for barack obama. also a top adviser to bill clinton and a congressman. >> and mayor. >> that's right. can't keep a job. >> that's right, i noticed that. talk to me first about what a lot of folks are talking about. which is the plank in the democratic platform which removed last time around's language about jerusalem is and shall remain the capital of israel. but the parties agree that should be part of the negotiations. why was that removed? >> look, i haven't been briefed on that, so, i mean what i do now is this president's position, which he's been consistent of, and that is it's a part of the negotiations. i haven't been briefed on what happened with the platform. personally, i've been involved,
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as you said, in a lot jobs. i've never read our party's platform. i've worked with two great presidents who have been steadfast friend, the state of israel. >> you know the president said at some point if we don't turn the economy around this will be a one-term proposition. he said, look, i get an incomplete on this. you talked about general motors being alive, bin laden being dead -- >> as being not. >> being not alive. is it enough though? when you're unemployed, and looking here tonight, what is the message to those 23 million or so? >> both unemployed as well as struggling. a lot of people in chicago are, you know, one pay stub away, man, they're just trying to make it to the 31st of every month. the question is which president, which president or which nominee is going to have your interests at heart. and you can look at the past background. a person who literally said detroit should go bankrupt or a president who said not on my watch? a president who said on home
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values, let it hit rock bottom or a president said, let's stay in that house, refinance it. they are opposite decisions. not close to the same. one who has stood up for the middle class and understands their struggle to own a home, get a job, get a college education and have affordable health care. >> have to stop you there, mr. mayor, thank you. the siblings of both michelle obama and barack obama. this is his half-sister speaking now. >> i'm maya soetoro-ng, an educator, mother of two, and proud to be barack obama's little sister. [ applause ] >> i'm craig robinson, michelle obama's big brother, father of four, and head coach of oregon state university's men's basketball team. any seven footers out there, give me a call. >> craig and i come from different states. we've had different upbringings.
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and as you can see, we have different perspectives on the world. >> but no matter how different we may seem, we share a set of values our parents gave us. values the same in chicago as they are in honolulu. a willingness to work hard. a commitment to education. and the responsibility to look out for each other. they're the values at the core of how barack and michelle have lived their lives, raised our nieces and led this country as president and first lady of the united states. >> four years ago, at this convention, i spoke with you all about how barack and i didn't grow up with much in the way of wealth, but we were blessed with a mother who taught us that education is the surest path from limited means to limitless opportunity. she inspired me to become a teacher. and she inspired barack's deep
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commitment to giving all our young people the opportunities our education gave us. he's made sure more of our youngest children have the stable foundation that head start provides. he saved the jobs of teachers in our schools. and he's helped more our students afford a higher education. our mother also taught us that everyone has worth, regardless of who they are or what they believe. that's what inspired barack's vision for a more inclusive and compassionate america. where everyone has a part to play in our shared story. he's made sure women can fight for equal pay for equal work and stood up for the freedom to make our own decisions about our health. he named two brilliant women who understand our lives to the supreme court.
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and, i'll say it again, he ended don't ask, don't tell, so no one would ever have to hide who they love to serve. making sure everyone in america has a chance to make it like he did. that's what my wonderful big brother is all about. and that's what he'll do for four more years. >> four years ago, i told you how when she was a young girl michelle used to talk to me about which kids at school were having a tough time at home. and didn't have anybody to stick up for them. and what inspired her most as she traveled this country on that campaign were the stories of brave americans who juggle everything at home while their husbands and wives are off at war. you see, america's military spouses and families make profound sacrifices too.
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and michelle promised that if she had the privilege to serve as first lady, she'd do everything she could to make sure america was there to honor, recognize and support their unique service. i've been so proud to watch her rally americans to give millions of hours of their time and service to our military families. she's working with schools that educate military children to add better courses. when barack challenged businesses to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses, michelle and jill biden rallied ceos to the cause. and last month, they stood with ceos to announce that they've hired 125,000 veterans and military spouses. surpassing the goal more than a year ahead of schedule.
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she's still the kind little sister she always was. now she's just sticking up for those who stand up for us. and i'm proud of her work to give our children a healthier start in life. and let's face it, maya, i could use the recruits. >> barack and michelle have always been there for us. tonight, we are here for them. and with your help, we can fill the white house with their brand of warmth, compassion and commitment to all our people for four more years. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> maya soetoro-ng and craig robinson. the convention delegates are about to hear a different kind of speech. a red meat speech attacking mitt romney. it will comb from deval patrick
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who succeeded romney as the governor of massachusetts. we're also awaiting the first lady's speech, michelle obama. we're told she's going to take the high road and avoid attacking mitt romney. right now, a cnn convention flashback. >> probably the most memorable moment of the gore convention was the long kiss that he gave to tipper. again, there was a sense of just a visual that you couldn't take your eyes away from. normally, it's just a peck on the cheek for the wife. this was something much more than that. i don't spend money on gasoline.
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i don't have to use gas. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪ that i forget how to put gas in my car. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs g of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback
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we're awaiting a speech by massachusetts governor deval patrick. listening to that speech, you think that was the best speech so far this evening? >> i think it's the most powerful speech at the convention. others may have got be people to stand up a little more but he was smart. he helped his candidate. and he did something that nobody else really has done. took the election to a new place. he said, look, these are uncertain timings. stormy economic seas. problems a world away can end up on our doorstep. i've seen it. i've been there. strong leadership. tested, proven.
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>> who do you want answering that 3:00 a.m. phone call? >> yeah, i thought that was a better campaign than frankly i've seen out of the obama people so far. >> it really surprises me. in the hall, more people were sort of getting up for other speeches. but james, you think this was effective for the larger audience. >> i do. i want to make a disclosure here. i talked to rahm emanuel every day on the phone for the past 20 years. i also detected the fine hand of our own paul begala in that speech as -- >> i don't like it as much anymore. >> very good. >> this is what you're supposed to do. you're supposed to promote the candidate. when raum was on the ballet, president obama endorsed him and talked about rahm. that's the idea here. >> and he's the anti-politician. he's got that john mccain, "lay it out there" thing which frankly people are so tired of, i thought it was very effective. >> so far, no one's auditioning
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for 2016 and we saw an awful lot of that in tampa. i think the other thing is reframing the question, are you better off than you were four years ago to will you -- under whom will you be better off four years from now? >> nobody's auditioning because barack obama's not seen his transition. >> i agree with that. >> the thing about rahm emanuel's speech was that i think the world leadership was used at least half a dozen times in two pages i was counting. and what he was doing was saying to people -- because right now the president's polling numbers are a little bit behind mitt romney's -- after mitt romney's convention on the leadership issue. what he is saying is this man can be trusted to lead. he has the values to lead. he has the judgment to lead. and he's strong. and that's the case that somebody needs to make for president obama. >> i think he actually promote yourself when you promote the candidate. i think you -- let's just assume
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that obama -- you can say, i did everything that i could. i stood there for mitt romney because i knew that he was blah, blah, blah. >> to get my republican credentials back here -- >> you got to work on it. >> this is a very different convention than last week. the answer here has been how can we make government bigger. what can government do for you? we heard the opposite of that last week. what should the economy do for you. not government. so at the end of the day, yes, they're going to rouse the base here but the one message -- >> republican credentials -- >> there are a lot of conservatives turned off by this convention. >> oh, yes. >> but it makes a big difference when running the convention, if you run one before, if you have run for president, succeeded, it's your second convention, as this is tonight, you're better, you're more professional at it. >> deval patrick's about to speak. we anticipate this speech really
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to be very frontal attack against mitt romney. let's listen in. deval patrick takes the stage. >> good evening, democrats! are you fired up? are you ready to go? well, i hope so. this is the election of a lifetime. because more than any one candidate or policy, what's at stake is the american dream. that dream, the ability to imagine a better way for ourselves and our families, and then to reach for it, that dream is central to who we are and what we stand for as a nation. whether that dream endures for another generation depends on you and me. it also depends on who leads us. in massachusetts, we know mitt
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romney. by the time he left office, massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation during better economic times and household income in our state was declining. he cut education deeper than anywhere else in america. roads and bridges were crumbling. business taxes were up. and business confidence was down. our clean energy potential was stalled. and we had a structural budget deficit. mitt romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. i can tell you massachusetts was not one of them. he's a fine fellow. and a great salesman. but as governor, he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job.
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so when i came to office, we set out on a different course. investing in ourselves, in our future. and today massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and bio tech, energy efficiency and veteran services. today, with the help of the obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access. today, we're out of the deficit hole mr. romney left and we've achieved the highest bond rating in our history. today, today, with labor at the table, we made the reforms in our pension and benefit systems. our schools. our transportation system and more. that mr. romney only talked about. and today in massachusetts, you can may whomover you love.
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we still have much more to do. much, much more to do. but we are on a better track because we placed our faith not in trickle-down fantasies and divisive rhetoric but in our values and our common sense. the same choice faces the nation today. all that republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with. never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in tampa last week has the results to show for it. but we democrats, we owe america more than a strong argument for
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what we are against. we need to be just as strong about what it is we are for. the question is, the question is what do we believe? well, we believe in an economy that grows opportunity out to the middle class and the disenfranchised. disenfranchised. not just up to the well-connected. we believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry. we believe that we owe the next generation a better country than we found and that every american has a stake in that. we believe that in times like these we should turn to each other, not on each other.
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and we believe that government has a role to play. not in solving every problem in everybody's life, but in helping people help themselves to the american dream. that's what democrats believe. that's what americans believe. and if we want to win elections in november and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, my message is this. it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe. when waiting for pundits or polls or super pacs to tell us
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who the next senator or president or congress is going to be, we're americans. we shape our own future. and let's all start by standing up for president barack obama. this is the president. this is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single american in every corner of this country, after 90 years of trying. this is the president who brought osama bin laden to justice, who ended the war in iraq and is ending the war in afghanistan. this is the president who ended don't ask don't tell so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for service, who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. this is the president who saved the american auto industry from
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extinction. the american financial industry from self-destruction, the american economy from full-blown depression. who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 2 1/2 years. more than in george bush's eight years in office. the list of accomplishments is long, impressive and barely told. and even more impressive when you consider that congressional republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy. with a record like that, and a vision that hopeful and powerful, i, for one, will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office and neither should you.
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i want you to be clear. what's at stake is real. it's real. the orchard gardens elementary school in boston was in trouble. its record was poor, its spirit was broken and its reputation was a wreck. no matter how bad things were in other urban schools in the city, people would say at least we're not orchard gardens. today, thanks to a host of new tools, many enacted with the help of the obama administration, orchard gardens is turning itself around. teaching standards and accountabilities are higher, the school day is longer and filled with learning, art, exercise and music. the head of pediatrics comes to consult with parents on toughest
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personal issues in students' home lives. attendance is up. until less than a year, orchard gardens went from one of the worst schools in the district to one of the best in the state. the whole school community is engaged and proud. so am i. at the end of my advice it, about a year and a half ago, the first grade led by a veteran teacher gathered to recite doctor king's "i have a dream" speech. and when i started to applaud, the teacher said not yet, governor. and she began to ask those six and seven-year-olds questions. she asked what does creed mean. what does nullification mean? where is stone mountain. and as the hands of those six and seven year olds shot up, i realized she had taught the children not just to memorize that speech, but to understand it. see, today's republicans,
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today's republicans and their nominee for president tell us that those first graders are on their own. on their own to deal with their poverty, with ill-prepared young parents maybe who speak english as a second language, with an under funded school, no access to nutrition food and no place for their mom to cash a paycheck with a job market with skills they don't have with no way to pay for college. but those orchard gardens kids should not be left on their own. those children are america's children too, yours and mine. and among them are the future scientists and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, engineers, laborers and civic leaders we desperately need for this country to rise, they must rise. and they and their cause must have a champion in the white
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house. that champion is barack obama. that cause is the american dream. let's fight for that. let's canvass and phone bank and get out the vote for that. let's go tell everyone we meet that when the american dream is on the line, we want barack obama in charge. thank you so much. god bless you and god bless the united states. thank you. the governor of massachusetts, the man who succeed mitt romney as governor of massachusetts. anderson, it's only just beginning. >> it certainly is. within the next another michelle obama will be making the speech that everyone is looking for tonight. in terms of how that speech play d, effective? >> i thought he did what he needed to do.
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he talked about barack obama. it was rallying the convention. it was what we're supposed to do again and again and again. and i bet castro does it in the keynote tonight. this is what the first night of a convention is supposed to be about. it's setting up the president. he's the guy on the ballot. >> i think to james' point. marketing 101. set up the problem that your candidate can come in at the end and solve. this is a base election for the obama people. they're making very few efforts to reach across the middle. let's pump up our base. if you don't say anything that changes what people already think, they don't change. >> do you think that changes over the next couple of nights? >> i think barack obama has got to go back to what's going to be different over the next four years. otherwise, if you tell people what they already know, they stay where they already are. >> but he had an enthusiasm gap coming into this convention. and he has effectively zarted to
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raise that again. there are people all over this country who hate what they're hearing. >> you know, they're setting the romney campaign on edge because my blackberry has been buzzing with the romney campaign saying the massachusetts record is not as was portrayed here tonight. they talk about unemployment rate actually falling, not rising. adding tens of thousands of new jobs. closing the $3 billion shortfall. i think the most damaging thing that the governor said here about mitt romney and massachusetts was the line where he said he was more interested in having the job than doing the job. because he only served one term, which is odd not to run for re-election. >> the governor of maryland is speaking as james is mentioning. let's listen in. >> we are moving america forward
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not back. with 29 months in a row of private sector job growth, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by making college more affordable for millions of middle class families, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by securing the guarantee of medicare for our seniors, president obama is moving american forward, not back. by putting putting forward a concrete plan to cut waist, ask those of us at the top to pay a little more and reduce our deficit, president obama is moving america forward not back. and by adding american manufacturing jobs for the first time since the 1990s, president obama is moving america forward not back.
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facts are facts. no president since franklin roosevelt in the great depression inherented a worse economy or bigger problems from his predecessor, but president obama is moving america forward, not back. and yet, mitt romney and paul ryan now say they want to take america back. and we have to ask, back to what? back to the failed policies that drove us into this deep recession? back to the days of record job losses? back to the days when insurance companies called being a woman a preexisting condition? no, thank you. i don't want to go back. do you? instead of the balance,
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achievable plan to create jobs and reduce the deficit, mitt romney puts forward a plan that would cut taxes for million airs while raising them on the middle class. instead of improving public safety, mitt romney says we needless firefighters, teachers and police. instead of safeguarding our seniors, romney and ryan would end the guarantee of medicare and replace it with a voucher in order to get bigger tax breaks to billionaires. instead of investing in america they hide their money in swiss bank accounts and ship our jobs to china. swiss bank accounts never built an american bridge. swiss bank accounts never put cops on the streets or teachers in our classrooms. swiss bank accounts never
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created american jobs. governor romney, just because you bank against the united states of america doesn't mean the rest of us are willing to sell her out. we are americans. we must act like americans. we must move forward, not back. my parents, tom and barbara, like so many viewers, were part of that great generation that won the second world war. dad flew 33 missions over japan in a b-24 liberator. he was able to go to college only because of the gi bill. our parents taught us to love god. love our family and love our country. their own grandparents were immigrants. their first language may not
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have been english, but the hopes and dreams they had for their children were purely american. you see, there is a powerful truth at the heart of the american dream. the stronger we make our country, the more she gives back to us. to our children and our grandchildren. our parents and grandparents understood this truth deeply. they believed as we do that to create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments, educating, innovating and rebuilding for our chirns' future. building an economy to last from the middle class up not from the billion airs down. the question is what will we make of it? as we search for common ground and the way forward together, let's ask one another, let's ask
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the leaders in the republican party without any anger, meanness or fear, how much less do you really think would be good for our country? how much less education would be good for our children? how many hungry american kids can we no longer afford to feed? governor romney, how many fewer college degrees would make us more competitive as a nation? the future we seek is not a future of less opportunity. it is a future of more opportunity. more opportunity for all americans. close your eyes. see the faces of your parents and your great-grandparents. they did not cross an ocean, settle a continent, do hard, back-breaking work so their children and grand dpts children could live in a country of less. they came here because the united states of america is the
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greatest job generating, opportunity expanding country every created by a free people in the history of civilization and she still is. let us not be the first generation of americans to give our children a country of less. let us return to the urgent work of creating more jobs, more security and more opportunity for our people and together, let us move forward, not back, by re-electing barack obama, president of the united states. god bless you all. >> one of the many governors we heard tonight going directly after mitt romney's record. we're waiting for the keynote speaker along with michelle obama's speech. already there's a lot of fact
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checkers pointing out unemployment under governor romney did drop. >> i think both campaigns seem to be taking a few liberties. but there's this backwards focus on both campaigns. it's like two guys trying to make the other guy lose and nobody is trying to win this race. somebody needs to step up and be moses and say here is where we can go. they're leaving a huge vacuum here like i think the republicans did last week. >> isn't that the president's job when he speaks? >> i think just like it was. but so far his campaign hasn't done that. his campaign says don't go back to the bush. >> which is a very good point that they're making, but you're right it's a three act play here. this is act 1. you would expect me to say it, this is a pretty impressive act one of the the speakers have
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been really good speakers and i think this mayor castro who i don't know is going to tee it up too. >> i think this is a much better convention than tampa. it's easier to tell your story on television if you don't have the distraction of a storm. but there's a disconnect between all the talk here and 23 million people still looking for work. homes under water, exploding deficit. >> and a trillion in debt today. >> joaquin castro, the brother of julian castro. ♪ ♪ >> thank you.
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thank you. thank you. thank you. my fellow democrats. my fellow americans, my fellow texans. i stand before you tonight as a young american, a proud american, of a generation born as the cold war receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another american century, president barack obama. the unlikely journey that brought me here tonight began
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many miles from this podium. my brother and i grew up with my mother and my grandmother. my grandmother was an orphan. she never made it past the fourth grade. she had to drop out and start working to help her family. my grandmother spent her whole life working as a made, a cook and a babysitter. working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. as my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren. she prayed to god for just one grand baby before she died. you can imagine her excitement when she found out that her
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prayers would be answered twice over. she was so excited that the day before julian and i were born, she entered a cook off and she won. by the time we came along, this woman had taught herself to read and write in english and spanish. i can see i can remember every morning as joaquin and i walked out to school making the sign of the cross saying may god bless you. my grandmother didn't live to see us begin our lives in public service, but she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in san antonio, one grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way, the good people of san antonio willing, to the united states
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congress. my family's story isn't special. what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other. a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation, no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. america didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. my grandmother's generation and generations before always saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. they believed that opportunity created today would lead to prosperity tomorrow. that's the country they envisioned and that's the
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country they helped build. the schools and units they created, the rights they fought for and won. these opened the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did, and that's the middle class. the engine of our economic growth. with hard work, everybody ought to be able to get there. and with hard work, everybody ought to be able to stay there. and go beyond. the dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to americans. it's a human dream. one that calls across oceans and borders. the dream is universal but america makes it possible and our investment in opportunity makes it a reality.
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now, in texas, we believe in the rugged individual. texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps. and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize that there are some things we can't do alone. we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow. and it starts with education. 20 years ago, joaquin and i left home for college and then for law school. in those classrooms we met some of the brightest folks in the world. but at the end of our days
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there, i couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at thomas jefferson high school in san antonio. they had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at stanford and harvard. i realized the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. the difference was opportunity. in my city of san antonio, we get that. so we're working to ensure that more 4-year-olds have access to pre-k. we opened cafe college where students get help for everything to test prep to financial paperwork. we know you can't be pro business unless you're pro education. we know that pre-k and student loans aren't charity. they're a smart investment in a work force that can fill and
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create the jobs of tomorrow. we're investing in young minds today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow. and it's paying off. last year the milkin institute ranked san antonio as the nation's top performing local economy and we're only getting started. opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow. now, like many of you, i watched last week's republican convention. and they told a few stories of individual success. we all celebrate individual success. but the question is, how do we multiply that success? the answer is president barack
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obama. mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago, he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money if you have to from your parents he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents. but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america. not here, not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm. i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good
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he's had it. we know that in our free-market economy, some will prosper more than others. what we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance. and the thing is, mitt romney and the republican party are perfectly comfortable with that, america. in fact, that's exactly what they're promising us. the romney/ryan budget doesn't just cut education, medicare and job training. it dis-manhattanles the middle class. it dis-manhattanl when it comes to getting the middle class back to work, mitt romney says no. when it comes to respecting woman's rights, mitt romney says no. when it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who
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they want to marry, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care, mitt romney -- actually, actually actual actually, actually, mitt romney said yes and now he says no. governor romney has undergone an extreme makeover. and it ain't pretty. so here's what we're going to say to mitt romney in november. we're going to say no! of all the fictions we heard last week in tampa, the one i find most troubling is this. if we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for
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it. because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. we have to invest in it. republicans tell us that the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. folks, we've heard that before. first they called it trickle down, then 24e called it supply side. now it's romney ryan or is it ryan romney. either way their theory has been tested, it failed, our economy failed, the middle class paid the price, your family paid the price. mitt romney just doesn't get it.
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but barack obama gets it. he understands that when we invest in people, we're investing in our shared prosperity. and when we neglect that responsibility, we risk our promise as a nation. just a few years ago, families that had never asked for anything found themselves at risk of losing everything. and the dream my grandmother held that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there, if not for her than for her children, that dream was being crushed. but then president obama took office and he took action. when detroit was in trouble, president obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. seven presidents before him, republicans and democrats, tried
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to expand health care to all americans. president obama got it done. he made a historic investment to left public schools and because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers. now it's time for congress to enshrine in law the right to pursue their dreams, the only place they've ever called home, america. four years ago, america stood on the brink of a depression. despite incredible odds.
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and united republican opposition, our president took action. and now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs. he knows better than anyone that there's more hard work to do, but we're making progress. and now we need to make a choice. it's a chase between a country where the middle class pays more so the mill airs can pay less or a country where everybody pays their fair share so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. it's a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts pell grants and a nation that investments more in education. and a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship american jobs overseas or a leader who brings jobs back home. this is the choice before us. and to me, to my generation and
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for all the generations to come, our choice is clear. our choice is a man who's always chosen us. a man who already is our president. barack obama. in the end, the american dream, the american dream is not a sprint. or even a marathon. but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a
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house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college and my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. and while she may be proud of me tonight, i've got to tell you, mom, i'm even more proud of you. thank you. today my beautiful wife and i
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are the proud parents of a 3-year-old girl named after my grandmother. a couple of mondays ago was her first day of pre-k. and as we dropped her off, we walked out of the classroom and i found myself whispering to her as was once whispered to me (speaking spanish) may god bless you. she's still young and her dreams are far off yet. but i hope she'll reach them. as a dad, i'm going to do my part and i know she'll do hers. but our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part as one community,
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one united states of america. to ensure opportunity for all of our children. the days we live in are not easy ones, but we have seen days like this before, and america prevailed. with the wisdom of our founders and the 1rvalues of our familie america prevailed. with each generation going further than the last, america prevailed. and with the opportunity we build today for a shared prosperity tomorrow, america will prevail. it begins with re-electing barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. may god bless you. and may god bless the united states of america. thank you.
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>> the beautiful thing about being first lady is that i have the privilege of meeting folks from different backgrounds and hearing what's going on in their lives. know that when our men and women in uniform are called to serve, their families serve right alongside them. we are trying to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation. when the world is swirling around you and you're faced with tough challenges, if your family is good, you're good. if any family in this country
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struggles, then we cannot be fully content with our own family's good fortune. because that is not what we do in this country. that is not who we are. that is not who we are. >> our house growing up was extremely modest. i remember our bedroom being formally the living room that my parents had divided using panelling. >> it basically carved the room out into two small rooms that were small enough for a twin bedroom and a desk. a special treat was that we could sleep out on the back porch when things got hot. >> as far as where we lived, that wasn't an issue. i was raised to have fun where we were with what we had and it seemed like it was okay.
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>> neither one of our parents went to college. but with a lot of love, a lot of caring, we were afforded an opportunity to go to college. >> we didn't say you should be a lawyer or you should be a schoolteacher. it was you should get an education. >> we had to take out student loans in order to pay for those. >> i know now how much my father had to work and struggle because he had to take out loans to cover his portion of our tuition. >> he understood his responsibilities, that despite this hardship, despite his challenges, he was going to be there for his kids. always. no matter what. >> my husband did not feel li like -- he would bounce out of bed almost sing his way out of the door to work. on crutches. and that was sort of rip me up. and i'm sure that did the same thing for the kids.
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>> we did a lot of laughing in our household and all of that happened in those few little rooms. >> michelle obama now stepping into america's most traditional role. a first lady. >> part of what makes her extraordinary is that she has been able to continue to be down to earth even as the first lady. i mean, she's just michelle. >> our friendship developed i think because we both have an interest in military families. when i met michelle she said what do you think would be the issue that you're most interested in, and i said military families. >> and i said to jill, i said, that's what i'd like to do. and that's where it all began. >> we've done three tours. it's meant a lot to our family during some difficult times just
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to know there are folks in the white house going in the same direction with us. >> whether it be helping homeless veterans through employment, trying to incorporate the military culture into the school systems, helping spouses find jobs, let's all come together. >> she genuinely seems to care and wants to know what military families are going through so they can make changes on a national level. >> you all don't even ask for much, so we should be able to step up in whatever way we can. >> 1% of the country is serving to protect the freedoms of the other 99% of us. so my view is there's a lot more that we can be doing for them to make that easier. >> she's so good with young people and she sees herself in them. she treats the young children the way she treats her own kids. >> it's a natural for me to see her getting the nations' kids out there exercising and moving around. >> the best way to take care of
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yourself is to own your health. to eat better, exercise more. >> it's about the whole child. it's about understanding how a child develops and how we can best put a child in a position to be successful. and she wanted it to be fun and to come up with let's move, it has such a great name. let's move is something we do together. >> she is a strong woman, physically obviously we all saw. poor jimmy fallon. >> i was wondering if you can do more push-ups than i can do. and i thought it wouldn't be good to show off the first lady so i stopped. >> i've seen lead by example, get right into it, pull up your sleeves, first lady and i think that's what we need. >> hello mrs. obama.
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>> hey, dave. >> and the number one fun fact about gardening. >> with enough care and effort you can grow your own barack-oli. >> we harvest it. >> she encouraged us to exercise more and to eat healthier. >> you really are a wonderful woman. >> i think you're the perfect wife for obama. >> i'm barack obama and this is my wife michelle. >> hey. i'm his date. >> family is everything. i think there's nothing more important to her than her children and her marriage and her mom and making sure that that all works well together. >> she was very clear. mom in chief. i heard it. she came in with a very clear
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we're going to make sure our kids are okay. >> i think every parent thinks their kids are fabulous and remarkable and special. and my kids are fabulous and remarkable and special. and the reason they are is because of michelle. i always say in our household, she's the conductor and i'm second fiddle. >> you know, barack always gives me so much credit for who the girls have become but they wouldn't be who they are without a man in their life who loves them deeply. >> what i love about my wife is that she knows what's important. she knows that the best and most important legacy of anybody's life is making sure that your kids turn out all right. they have good values, they're kind, they're caring. and what's gratifying to me is i know the girls at this point are going to be fine because they've got the best mom in the world.
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♪ ♪ wow. what's a mom like me doing in a place like this? i'm not even a political person. but what i am is a military mom. my husband and i are so proud of our five kids. one each in the army, the navy, the air force and the marines.
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our youngest is still in high school and yes, we are hoping he will join the coast guard. they are mom's most precious treasures. and i don't know when i'm going to get them together again, because one of them is always deploying. but because of dr. biden and the first lady, our lives are a little bit easier. along with president obama, they have made helping military families a top priority. they've brought together the american people, including thousands of businesses, to become part of a nationwide support network. it is honor and respect in action. and it warms this mother's heart.
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last december i wrote michelle obama a christmas card. just a mom to mom note to say thank you for caring. the first lady not only read my letter, she invited my husband and i to the white house. it was an amazing experience. but what's even more amazing is knowing that our commander in chief and first lady are thinking about families like mine every single day. so, like i said, i'm not a political person, but i'm a mom. and if someone is there for my family and families like mine, then i'll be there for them. that's why i'm so proud to introduce my fellow mom and our
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first lady, michelle obama. ♪ ♪ >> thank you.
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thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much. with your help, with your help. let me start, i want to start by thanking elaine. elaine, thank you so much. we are so grateful for your family's service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back. over the past few years as first lady, i have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country, and everywhere i've gone and the people i've met and
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the stories i've heard, i have seen the very best of the american spirit. i have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls. i've seen it in teachers in a near bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay. i've seen it in people who become heros at a moment's notice. diving into harm's way to save others, flying across the country to put out a fire. driving for hours to bail out a flooded town. and i've seen it in our men and woman in uniform and our proud military families. in wounded warriors who tell me they're not just going to walk again, they're going to run and they're going to run marathons. in the young man blinded by a
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bomb in afghanistan who said simply, i would give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what i have done and what i can still do. every day, the people i meet inspire me. every day they make me proud. every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege. but back when we first came together four years ago, i still had concerns about this journey we'd begun. while i believed deeply in my husband's vision for this country and i was certain he would make an extraordinary president, like any mother, i was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance. how would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight. how would they feel being
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uprooted from their school, their friends and the only home they had ever known. our life before moving to washington was filled with simple joys. saturdays at soccer games, sundays at grandma's house and a date night was either dinner or a movie because as an exhausted mom, i couldn't stay awake for both. and the truth is, i loved the life we had built for our girls. and i deeply love the man i had built that life with, and i didn't want that to change if he became president. i loved barack just the way he was. you see, even back then, when barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in our car that was so rusted out, i could actually see the pavement going
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by in a hole in the passenger side door. he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he found in a dumpster. and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small. but when barack started telling me about his family, see, now, that's when i knew i had found a kindred spirit. someone whose values and upbringing like mine. we were both raised by families who didn't have much in the ways of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable. their unconditional love, their un-flynn muching sacrifice and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves. my father was a pump operator at the city water plant and he was
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diagnosed with multiple scloerosis when my brother and i were young and even as a kid, i knew there were plenty of days when he was in pain and i knew there were plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply get out of bed. but every morning i watched my father wake up with a smile, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink and showily shave and button his uniform. and when he returned home after work, my brother and i would stand at the top of the stairs of our little apartment, patiently waiting to greet him, watching as he reached down to lift one leg and then the other to slowly climb his way into our arms. but despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work. he and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only
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dream of. and when my brother and i finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants, but my dad still had to pay a tiny portion of that tuition himself. and every semester he was determined to pay that bill right on time, even taking out loans when he fell short. he was so proud to be sending his kids to college. and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline, because his check was late. you see, for my dad, that's what it meant to be a man. like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life. being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family. and as i got to know barack, i realized that even though he had grown up all the way across the
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country, he had been brought up just like me. barack was raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help. his grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank and she moved quickly up the ranks. but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. and for years, men no more qualified than she was, men she had actually trained were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while barack's family continued to scrape by. but day after day she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret. and she would often tell barack, so long as you kids do well, bear, that's all that really matters. like so many american families, our families weren't asking for
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much. they didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that anyone else had much more than they did. in fact, they admired it. they simply believed in that fundamental american promise. that even if you don't start with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids. that's how they raised us. that's what we learned from their example. we learned about dignity and decency. that how hard you work matters more than how much you make. we learned about honesty and integrity. that the truth matters. that you don't take shortcuts.
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or play by your own set of rules. and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square. we learned about grad tud and human millty. that so many people had a hand in our success. from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean. and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect. those are the values that barack and i and so many of you are trying to pass on to our own children. that's who we are. and standing before you four years ago, i knew that i didn't want any of that to change if barack became president. well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my
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husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no. it reveals who you are. you see, i've gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like. and i've seen how the issues that come across a president's desk are always the hard ones. you know, the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. the judgment calls where the stakes are so high and there is no margin for error. and as president you're going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. but at the end of the day when it comes time to make that decision as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the
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life experiences that make you who you are. so when it comes to rebuilding our economy, barack is thinking about folks like my dad and his grandmother. he's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. that's why he signed the fair pay act to help women get equal pay for equal work. that's why he cut taxes for working families in small businesses and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet. that's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again, jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs, right here in the united states of america. when it comes to the health of
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our families, barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. he didn't care whether it was the easy thing to do politically. no, that's not how he was raised. he cared that it was the right thing to do. he did it because he believes that here in america our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. and he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. that's what my husband stands
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for. when it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve, barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could have attended college without financial aid. and believe it or not when we were first married, our combined student loan bill was higher than our mortgage. we were so young, so in love and so in debt. and that's why barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down. because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt. so in the end, for barack, these issues aren't political.
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they're personal. because barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. barack knows the american dream because he's lived it. and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. and he believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no. you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.
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so when people ask me whether being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. he's the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get those folks back to work. because for barack success isn't about how much money you make. it's about the difference you make in people's lives.
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he's the same man when our girls were first born, would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing, proudly showing them off to everyone we knew. you see, that's the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, strategizing about middle school friendships. that's the man i see in these quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him. the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills.
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from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise but so few opportunities. and i see the concern in his eyes. and i hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, you won't believe what these folks are going through, michelle. it's not right. we've got to keep working to fix this. we've got so much more to do. i see, i see how those stories i see how those stories, our
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collection of collections of struggles of hopes and dreams. i see that's what drives barack obama every single day. i didn't think it was possible but let me tell you today i love my husband even more than i did four years ago, even more than i did 23 years ago when we first met. let me tell you why. see, i love that he has never forgotten how he started. i love that we can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. i love that for barack there is no such thing as us and them. he doesn't care whether you're a democrat or republican or none of the above. he knows that we all love our country and he is always ready to listen to good ideas. he is always looking for the very best in everyone he meets. and i love that even in the
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toughest moments when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass and it seems like all is lost, see, barack, never gets distracted by the chatter and the noise. no. just like his grandmother. he just keeps getting up and moving forward. with patience and wisdom and courage and grace. and he reminds me that we are playing a long game here. and that change is hard. and change is slow and it never happens all at once, but eventually we get there. we always do. we get there because of folks like my dad. folks like barack's grandmother. men and woman who said to themselves, i may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but
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maybe my children will. maybe my grandchildren will. s see, so many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice and longing and steadfast love because time and again they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard. so today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming or even impossible, let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. it is who we are as americans. it is how this country was bu t built. and if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us, you know, if
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they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with a touch of a button, then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids, right? and if if so many brave men and women could wear our country's uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. surely we can get to the polls on election day and make our voices heard. if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire.
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if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time. if a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his dream and proud americans could be who they are and boldly stand at the alter with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. because in the end, in the end, more than anything else, that is
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the story of this country. the story of unwavering hope grounded, that is what made my story and barack's story possible. i say this tonight not just as first lady, no. not just as a wife. you see, at the end of the day my most important title is still mom in chief. my daughters are still the heart of my heart. and the center of my world. but let me tell you, today i have none of those worries from four years ago. no. not about whether barack and i were doing what was best for our girls, because today i know from
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experience that if i truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and for all of our sons and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a foundation for their dreams, and opportunities worthy of their promise. if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, that belief that here in america there is always something better out there, if you're willing to work for it. then we must work like never before. and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward. my husband, our president, barack obama. thank you. god bless you.
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god bless america. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the first lady of the united states not hitting a home run but probably a grand slam as far as what her mission was to do, she told a wonderful love story about her relationship with her husband, a wonderful story as a mother as far as her relationship with her two little
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girls. she clearly needed to rally the base and that's exactly what she did. she did an amazing job for this president of the united states. >> she did. and what's interesting to me is she told some of the same stories we've heard her tell so many times. she could have given this -- she did in fact give a speech similar four years ago, but how is it different? now it's through the prism of the presidency. so she took all of those experiences and did two things, i think. first of all, say hey. maybe we've been in the white house for four years. maybe we're now millon airs a couple of times over. we're still with you, we still understand you. a very important message that this entire convention is aimed at. the middle class. so relating to the middle class problems saying sure, that's who we are in the white house, but
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in my heart, in his heart, he is in fact still middle class. the second thing she did, the base. what does this do for the base? remember that guy you were so excited about? remember that guy who got up here and wowed you with his background and his stories and his dreams? still the same guy. still the same dreams. so i think she did those two things and obviously you saw it was very well received, certainly in this crowd. anderson, up to you. >> yeah. i want to get quick reactions. james carville? >> it was a great speech. it was a really great night you've got to be ecstatic. this was one heck of a night. i don't say that as a democrat. you can't just sit here and look at the quality of speeches that were up there and come to any other conclusion. >> have you heard a speech from a first lady like that? >> i can't remember one. i think if they had two more
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nights like this, they could possibly break this race open. if they had three good nights on television like that, they came ready for prime time. i think in tampa some of the republicans weren't quite ready for prime time. they knew what they were doing here tonight. they did it very well. i thought deval patrick had the most powerful speech of the night. but overall, they understood, during your second convention, they come in here as pros. to go to james' point, it was the overall evening that i thought worked the best. >> i hope you'll forgive me for not joining the swoon. spouse speeches always give a nice character reference. and that is important. but the fact is for president obama he's a known quantity and a bad economy is a bad economy. nothing what the first lady says
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changes what people know about president obama one way or the other nor does it change the bad economy or give people reasons to think that the policies will work in the next four years. >> i think that what this whole evening did is tell you, again, lift the veil. tell you how president obama makes decisions, maybe you agree, maybe you disagree, you're that independent voter out there. but as michelle obama said, his decisions are values based. and as mayor castro said, his decisions are based, he never forgot where he came from. saying mitt romney doesn't get it. the theme of the evening was yes, he might be president of the united states, yes, things have occurred. but, but this is a man who makes decisions for the right reasons. and if you can come away with
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that idea -- >> i want to hear from john king in a moment. we have a picture of president obama watching the speech with his daughters. >> i'm surprised they didn't show that during the speech. they have had a good night production wise without a doubt. and that speech by the first lady is going to be hard to top. there's an open ballot somewhere if she wants to run for anything, tonight would be a good night to sign up. part of the goal here is to say mitt romney made some progress in the polls on who understands the middle class at his convention. part of his speech is he's on your side. he understands your struggles, he has struggled, he is fighting for you. but he's been the president for four years and one of the challenges of this convention, one of the tests of the days and weeks after is people hard a lot of speeches four years ago. so the thing that strikes me on
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opening night tonight compared to what we heard in tampa, the dam krats are saying that 2010 -- in tampa the republicans think 2008 was the aberration. >> the democrats spent a lot of time talking about social issues, gay marriage, abortion. republicans spent a lot more time talking about the economy. democrats are now trying to stretch social ishsous because they have to get out their base. >> i'm sorry. the idea is to put on a good convention. can't just somebody say the quality of the speech making was extraordinary. the use of the family members particularly, mayor castro's family, it was an extraordinary night. just saying it was an extraordinary night. yes we're democrats we believe in education they made their
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case. great night. >> they still have to climb a high mountain. they still face hard realties. a poll came out that said 50% of the people in this country says barack obama doesn't deserve to be re-elected. he's got to do that -- >> it didn't change the reality of the economy. i agree with that. they had an incredible night. the quality of the speeches, everything was extraordinary. >> kate, who do you have? >> i'm here with two kennedys. two men that many of our viewers will be familiar with. ted kennedy junior as well as a former congressman from rhode island. patrick kennedy thank you for meeting me here. you came down here to listen to this speech with us. congress man, first to you. what is your reaction?
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what's your take away? >> she was introduced by a woman who represents the families of our wounded warriors and she has made a priority for this administration standing by the men and women who served all of us and we all have to love her for the work she's doing for our wounded warriors. second of all, she reintroduced us to her husband and translated how his own personal experience has made him the man he is and explained why he has been the fighter he's been fighting for. for the lily led bedder act because his grandmother was discriminated against, because of health care reform. because her father had m.s. because of student aid. because they had to fight to pay off their student loans. so it basically illustrated that his own personal experiences were what illustrated why he's in the fight for all americans, whether it's student loans or health care or fairness in pay. because it's a personal experience for his family.
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>> and i also want to ask you. i mean, earlier this evening i know you saw it as well. there was a moving tribute to your father. what would ted kennedy say if he were here this evening, and how would he make the case for another four years for president obama. >> you may remember my father came out quite forcely with my brother patrick at the time took the risky move and endorse this president. he thought he had the right stuff to be the person who was going to carry the next generation. my father if he were here today, would be giving the nomination speech for another four years of this president. you know, as michelle just said in her roemarks, president obam took the gutscy stand and said health care is going to be a priority. not because it's easy, but because it's hard. and really lived up to the promise that he made my father. because he died, that he was
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going to make health care a priority. he didn't back pedal on that like a lot of his political advicers. that is why i think my father thinks he's an incredibly gutsy guy. you saw michelle's speech. it's full of honesty. i think she's an amazing woman and it was really wonderful. >> thank you both very much. never enough time to speak with you. ted kennedy junior, congress man. thank you for your time. wolf i'm going to send it back to you. >> thanks very much. brianna has a guest who is going to suggest that tonight is going to be a good night. you're with will i. a.m., is that right? >> that's right. we just heard a song by the black-ey black-eyed peas here. you know the first lady. what did you think of the speech? >> i remember when i met
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michelle obama in 2007 and i saw her speak at a very small fund raising lunch and i was so moved by her speech that when i saw barack obama's speech in new hampshire i was just moved by the whole movement. and seeing her today reminded me of the first time i met michelle obama and watching her speech. i was moved by her speech today. it was michelle obama that being a momma's boy and being raised by a strong single mom, why i, you know, was inspired by the obamas. >> and, you wrote in 2008 an iconic song, "yes we can." it was symbolism of this campaign. optimism has been lost and do you think president obama can get that enthusiasm back or
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enough to push this over the top? >> well, yes we can, is yes we in capital letters collectively can. changing your family, your neighborhood, your community and spreading that to change your state and your country. and if you think "yes we can" is waiting for someone to do it for you, it's the collective of a village that's going to change this. so that's the inspiration that came from michelle and obama did for me to change my neighborhood. i built a school. >> science, technology, engineering, math. >> we have to move forward. so four more years to complete, not to complete, but to people forward with what we signed up for. >> and real quick. your song last week was the first one to be broadcast from mars.
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how cool is that? >> it's cool because what it means and why it was beamed back from mars, to inspire these kids to want to be scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematici mathematicians, to take interest in education to become entrepreneurs and create the next medical equipment, the next tools to change our lives. >> all right, will, thank you so much. heading back to you wolf, that's will i. am. >> i'm sure that he believes that tonight is going to be a good, good night. let's go to soledad o'brien. >> i'm with a guest that senawo
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agree with that. let's talk about michelle obama's speech. the crowd here and certainly the members of the delegation went wild when she spoke. >> it was both personal but it related to all of the issues that affect us in a personal way. i thought it was a knock-out. >> she has high favorables. and certainly the president would like to have some of that rub off on him. how do you compare it to ann romney's speech? >> what was the most memorable thing about romney's speech? that his parents left, his father left a rose for his mother. that's not about mitt romney. and the story that michelle could tell about her family and barack's family is so much more moving and meaningful to the average family than mitt romney's. in terms of what it means to struggle and move up and how you need a little help. i thought it was a beautiful way
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to put it, but when you make it to the top, you don't slam the door on those behind you. i thought she knocked it out of the park. i was moved and i've seen a lot of these speeches. >> when you talk to voters who are concerned about the economy, to conversations about that, her personal relation translate well? >> if you tie it into what matters to them, she had mitt romney and ann romney never had a debt in their life. they had more student debt than they could deal with. they know what the average middle class person is going through. and this election is going to be won by who can convince the middle class they can do more for them in the next four years. i think michelle's speech compared to mrs. romney's speech, far more related to the savernlg middle class person. >> thanks for talking with us. >> appreciate it. >> and send it back to anderson.
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>> comparisons to michelle obama and ann romney's speech. >> i would say that's an unfair comparison. not even close. as i listened to her speak, i immediately thought back to 1988 when jesse jackson stood in front of the delegate in atlanta where he said i understand where you come from, talked about where he was born, how he was born, didn't have a name. so that first half of the speech was essentially saying i understand. we understand what you're going through. when you hear that, all of a sudden you're saying, wait a minute. here's somebody literally explaining you just paid off your student debt right now in this country. that is a way for you to connect with somebody. i think ann romney tried to do
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that last week when she talked about the ironing board. that's what voters want to hear so they can say i need to know that you get me. that when you're sitting in the oval office. you will be representing me. that was extremely effective and frankly, the president needs to listen to her speech and convey a lot more of that in order for him to connect. >> it is extraordinary this election, whether both for ann romney the extent to which campaigns are relying on the wives of the candidates to really put forth a message. i mean, both very strong, powerful women. >> in both conventions so far the most memorable speeches have come from women. it remind me a lot of the olympics where the women athletes are the ones we found most interesting. i think the both women did their husbands a great deal of good. i agree that michelle obama's speech was greatly effective but
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so was ann romneys. she had a story to tell to humanize her husband and she got it across very, very well. >> i think the difference was ann romney's speech was designed to inform people about a candidate who most americans don't know. he is still a newcomer on the political scene as all challengers are. the speech by the first lady tonight was designed to remind people about the things they like best about barack obama that has gotten lost because the economy is so bad. one task inform the other remind. >> not only to remind but also to say he's the same person you used to love four years ago and he's still the same guy. and by the way, he hasn't forgotten where he came from. this audience here erupted into "yes we can" a few times. >> he's muddied, he's bloodied.
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so whether you're a fan or opponent, he's very different. she's trying to somehow create the magic from 2008. the biggest takeaway from the night, the democrats begin this gathering with an unfamiliar position. in 2010 republicans had the intensity edge. at the moment they have a narrower intensity edge. they think it's still more like 2010 than 2008. you heard her we must never work harder. after four years of an incumbent president, what about that small slice out there. >> how transferrable is an endorsement coming from a spouse. candidates stand on their own feet, their own merit.
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>> her decision to put voting into sort of the same category as serving overseas as some of the many struggles that we as a nation have gone through over the years, i thought was very effective as a way to get -- >> she brings credibility having work for veterans. it was a nice turn right there at the end. to channel that energy. but you have to say the intensity maybe because it's a bigger hall, but it does seem to be more intensity in the hall. >> talk about the voting piece, you're dealing with voter suppression efforts, you're dealing with enthusiasm as well. so what she is trying to say is yes, this is a fundamental right as an american, the issue of voting. >> certainly people respond well to that here in the hall. piers morgan is standing by with tonight's keynote speaker and also his twin brother. you'll hear from them.
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and tonight's many highlights our analysts are ready to tell us their top take-aways. we'll be right back. great shot.
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>> our cnn analysts are getting ready to give us our take-aways from the convention. give me one thing that stood out and what you learned tonight. >> i think one of the goals tonight was for the democrats and the obamas to say that in a sense we are more like you than
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the republicans and the romneys. we understand the problems you're going through and we can relate better. they specifically hit on the issues they want to connect on gays and lesbians, women and latinos. and by mrs. obama making the case that they have been struggling to pay their bills only so few years ago. whether it's true or not, they're trying to make that case. and it was pretty effective in this hall at least. we'll see in a week or so how effective it was out in the broader field. >> it couldn't have been more effective in this hall. candy, give us one thing you learned tonight that really stood out. >> i'm not sure we learned it except for we saw this coming. this is about what we're seeing in terms of the lack of enthusiasm, at least in the polling, of young folks for
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barack obama. at least as compared to four years ago. the latino community we're also seeing a drop in their enthusiasm. this entire night was driving the base out and that includes we understand you. repeated references to the middle class. this is we get you, they don't. i think my other impression of the night is is that michelle obama may be mother in chief, she may be first lady but she's also a heck of a politician. there were some nuanced hits at mitt romney in there, but they certainly were there as she viewed her husband, the same husband she described four years ago, through the prism of the white house. and saying he's still that same guy. remember who he was, how excited you were about him. and by the way, mitt romney, though she never mentioned his name, it was very clear, that there were some pointed references there to saying they really don't get you. we get you.
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wolf? >> good point. as we go back to anderson, what really stood out for me was the fact that these democrats, all of them tonight, basically doubling down on some of the most sensitive issues out there, whether the obama care, the health care reform, same sex marriage, whether it was abortion rights for women. they're not running away, they were addressing them directly clearly seeking to rally that base to make sure that democrat base would get out there and vote. >> it wasn't just one speaker or two speakers, it was a number of speakers bringing p those issues time and time again. >> we make it complicated sometimes olympics is about math. tonight was about the addition of the obama coalition. reach out to african-american, latinos, gays. and democrats who have walked away from this president. they know they need every piece to turn out to win a close
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election. >> i'm going to piggyback on that because i think michelle obama may be the most effective get out the vote person that we'll see at this entire convention including the president, reminding people who he was. and if you're a democrat sitting on your couch and you're thinking of not voting because you're not excited about the president anymore, she spoke directly to you tonight. >> this is about not being scared as wolf said to touch on those issues. so every time ari says -- you go over your you don't play defensive. you lay it out by saying we're not going to be scared of you trying to paint us into a corner. we're going to be as aggressive as you are. we're going to fight, let's roll. >> i think it started where the government is all we belong to. you need the government to make it in america. >> we're going to have more in a
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moment but piers has two special guests. >> i do. the beer is flowing and not for the first time. i'm seeing double. gentlemen, this is the test. i know one of you has a blue tie, one has a purple tie. one has a wedding ring and one doesn't. and according to you, you're the better looking one. you are joaquin and you are the star of the night. julian castro. great speech. >> thank you very much. >> how are you feeling? >> i'm a much happier man than i was an hour ago. very relieved, it went well. i got ai little assist from my daughter, i think. >> over there with your wife and your mother. they've all come to support you. a big night for the family. i was struck by the moving account you gave of your grandmother victoria. she came from mexico as an
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orphan to san antonio. ias wondering watching you speak, how do you think she would have felt seeing you guys now at this huge convention beamed around the world, great emotions, i would have thought? >> i think she would have been extremely proud. she wouldn't have believed it. she passed away about 15 years ago now, so we weren't in public service yet. she couldn't have imagined it. but she would be proud of her grandsons and also of her country because it's really an american dream story. i think she would be proud. >> she passed away a few months before we graduated from college so it was special for us tonight to hear julian tell her story, that is the story that so many families have experienced, and really whether they come from mexico, ireland, italy, germany or asia, that really is the story of america. >> i think it's something that
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people have forgotten about to a large degrees through these terrible recession times. what does the american dream mean? how do you reinforce the kinds of story that you guys can tell america? >> it means as joaquin has said many times. he's campaigning for congress these days. but this sort of infrastructure of opportunity, of strong public schools, of good units, of student aid. of those things that it takes to experience opportunity in america and america has been the land of opportunity. and so it's our family is i think one example of that. the but there's so many other examples and the importance of tonight and of this election is which one of these candidates is going to ensure that america remains unquestionably the land of opportunity in the coming years. and tonight my speech was about why i'm convinced that's president barack obama. >> you gave mitt romney a few good zingers.
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you've got to ask your parent for money. there was a clear line drawn tonight, the difference between mitt romney's relationship with the electorate and you guys. how much do you think that is going to come into play as a key factor in the election? do you think the american people are going to look at barack obama and mitt romney and say this guy is a well think guy, he's out of touch with us. i prefer to go with the devil i know who has admitted he's only done half the job really, what do you think? >> i think when folks compare where the nation was when president obama took office and you heard several speakers say that, losing 750,000 to 800,000 jobs a month and you compare where we are right now, 4.5 million new jobs, i'm confident he's going to layout the case
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convincingly for why we haven't made -- we're not where we want to be, we have 345id significant progress. and that means something very real for people's lives. more students that are able to go to college, more folks now that are able to get back to work. we see that in texas. so i don't think anybody would say that we're where we want to be. but we're better positioned as a nation than we were in january of 2009. >> a lot of buzz tonight about your speech, as i say. electrified everybody prompting some people to say we haven't heard a speech like that since 2004. this guy could be president. either of you. >> he becomes president. i need secret service protection. >> barack obama thought he had a problem with a name like barack obama becomeling president. but first president castro of the united states of america is quite a moment. >> it's never going to happen. i do grant you florida would be pretty hard.
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>> congratulations. it was a ground-breaking speech. and may the best man win. back to you, wolf. >> thanks very much, piers. we're looking forward to your live show from the grill at the top of the hour. shall we say a star is born? or perhaps two stars are born tonight? i think the answer is two stars are born. speakers at this convention tonight certainly gave president obama a lot of credit for creating 4.5 million jobs during his first term. can we actually believe all these numbers? our reality check team has the answer. that's coming up next. and we want you to take part in cnn's coverage of the democratic convention. log on to facebook.com/cnn and answer this question. who do you think was the best recent first lady. laura bush, hillary clinton or
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insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. i was talking to my best friend. i told her i wasn't feeling like myself... i had pain in my pelvic area... and bleeding that wasn't normal for me. she said i had to go to the doctor. turned out i had uterine cancer, a type of gynecologic cancer. i received treatment and we're confident i'll be fine. please listen to your body. if something doesn't feel right for two weeks or longer, see your doctor. get the inside knowledge about gynecologic cancers. knowing can make all the difference in the world. well, as you just saw tonight, michelle obama gave tonight's featured speech at the democratic national convention. what a speech it was. take a look at some of tonight's highlights. >> the 46th national convention
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of the democratic party will now come to order. >> this november, with the re-election of president barack obama, this generation of americans will expand upon the hope, the dream, the truth and the promise of america. >> the democratic women of the house are ready to join president barack obama to move america forward. >> he said he would end the war in iraq. and he has. he said he would go after al qaeda and he would take out osama bin laden and that's exactly what he did. >> last week mitt romney had his chabs to show his support for the brave men and women he's
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seeking to command but he chose to criticize barack obama instead of uttering the word afghanistan. >> today's republican party believes in two sets of rules. this year they've nominated the strongest proponent and clearest beneficiary of this rigged game. mitt romney. >> if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves. even his money needs a passport. it's summers on the beaches of the cayman islands and winters on the slopes of the swiss alps. >> governor romney just because you bank against the united states of america doesn't mean the rest of us are willing to sell her out.
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>> when it comes to getting the middle class back to work, mitt romney says no. when it comes to respecting woman's rights, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care, mitt romney -- actually, actually, mitt romney said yes and now he says no. >> after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no. it reveals who you are. but at the end of the day when it comes time to make that decision as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the
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life experiences that make you who you are. when people ask me whether being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. >> those were some of the moments in the hall that got a lot of people on their feet tonight. let's go to erin burnett for a reality check. >> a lot of things were said this inning making fact checkers everywhere very busy. but there was one cornerstone claim of the deck krats. tonight they pounded it like a nail. that president obama has created more than 4 million jobs since taking office. listen. >> today our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private
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sector jobs in the last 29 months. >> who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 2.5 years? >> we've seen 4.5 million new jobs. >> so it's clear. the claim is the president created 4.5 million new jobs since taking office. the problem here is not in the math, more than 4 million jobs have been created. what is missing here is context. >> yes. and context is everything. rahm emanuel said it right, he used the words private sector. let me show everyone the math. jobs added, private sector jobs during this administration, 4.5 million is indeed the right number. the problem is we all know there were many jobs lost. there were 5 million private sector jobs lost. so again, private sector the crucial word because if you look at other jobs, including government jobs, the picture is
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much worse in terms of net loss we are still 1.1 million jobs in the hole in this administration. and tom the other thing when you look at this in terms of unemployment rate, people are asking are you better off than you were four years ago. when you look at the picture which is the center of this whole election, the answer is we are not. right now unemployment rate 8.3%. election day 2008, that number was 6.5%. inauguration day, that number was 7.3%. so worse off by either one of those measures. but when you look at where we were in the peek peak unemployment rate, everyone was 10%. so we are better than we were, but we are not near where we were when the president took office. and a lot of the jobs that we have gotten back aren't necessarily the ones that we want. >> we're looking at selective numbers to begin with. but when you look at the jobs we got back, it's important to remember. some of the jobs that were
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gained in the first term here were term rarery jobs. they were jobs that were spurred by stimulus money or census work, but not jobs that had lasted. there have been surveys that have indicated that 80% of the jobs that have been lost in this recession and afterward were middle to high-waged jobs and about 60% of the jobs we've gained are low-wage jobs. not just that we lost jobs and got some back, but the jobs we got back generally are not on par with the ones that we lost. >> and tom said this, because that means something crucial that the first lady said is not necessarily true. here is her claim. >> that's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again. jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs. right here in the united states of america. >> i'm sure there are many families that will say any job
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is a good job right now but they are not as good as the jobs that were lost. look the athe numbers and the facts, that's what shows up. >> that's our verdict there on that charge tonight. back to you. >> let's talk about some of those numbers. david, in terms of facts did you hear a lot of egregious things tonight? >> well, in tampa we had a lot of fact checking to do. there were some misstatements there. >> a lot. >> i do think, i think what they -- they had a heck of a night, but they're not facing some of the hard realties. and that is we're still in an economic mess. the economy is back to where it was before the recession. but i think erin can correct me, but i think we still have 5 million less jobs today than we had before the recession started. we have the deficits that are mounted. and we don't have a game plan for getting out of this mess yet. so that's what they have to do combr this is over.
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i think they haven't given factual misstatements but they've glossed over the hard realties. >> you talk about in five years, 5.4 million added. the final six months prior to taking over, 3.47 million lost in six months. and so that positions you to understand what we went through in 2009, 2010. i make the argument and we talk about how is the economy doing. we were basically on life support in 2009. we're now as a nation in icu. >> roland, every other -- we are three years into the recovery. this is the slowest recovery we've had since the great depression. >> yes. >> and we've had other presidents, they've gotten us out a lot fast ter. >> would you be surprised to hear the president give himself
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an incomplete grade. >> i think it's the best he can do. the democrats are in a skreez. it's the same thing are you better off than you were four years ago. if they say no, they're reinforcing everything people think has gone wrong in the last four years. he has to give himself an incomplete. but to the bigger question, the president used a football analogy. four years into the new head coach's job, the team is still losing and losing badly. the american people are not going to vote in november on who the previous head coach was. they're the owners of this team and that's the issue. the economy, the deficit, the debt. the fact that 2/3 of the country think as that the country is on the wrong track. >> incomplete is maybe more succinct but he's said the same thing before. >> he said it on the view
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earlier. >> he says almost every day, the economy isn't where it needs to be and his case is i want another four years to get it there. the case he needs to make when he comes here at the end of the week i do have a plan to get us there and that's why incomplete makes sense. so he has to make the next logical jump. he has to bridge that to say yes the incomplete will pay off. >> and michelle obama tried to echo that tonight by saying he's playing a long game. >> i think some of the things we heard up until the first lady's speech went to the other subtext of the campaign, which we were told from the very beginning is what they wanted to be about choice. you heard despite all the protestations we heard about mitt romney's convention was so negative. we heard a lot of stiff attacks against the president tonight and this was the night to say to americans you've got a choice. you can have either this guy or
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you can have the president that you know. so you heard that particularly from governor o-ma mao-malley. you can go forward or you can go back. >> wolf, tomorrow another big night. a lot of big speakers. >> i'm anxious to hear bill clinton. i know he's been working hard on his speech and he's going to do what he can to get obama reeleked. that will be a powerful speech. that will be the highlight of tomorrow night and thursday night. the vice president and then of course the president of the united states and i'm anxious to hear how far the president will go in answering the question will he spell out in detail what would he do differently over the next four years in order to turn this economy around? >> a lot to watch for. want you to take part in your coverage.
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>> we do. log on to facebook.com/cnn and answer this question. who do you think was the best recent first lady. laura bush, hillary clinton or michelle obama. we'll have the answers in a little bit. there are a lot of warning lights and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
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>> like so many american families, our families weren't asking for much. they didn't begrudge anyone else success or care that others had much more than they did. in fact, they admired it. >> michelle obama earlier tonight. we want to thank you for going to our facebook page. 16% of you